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How to Nail Virtual Tours During Lockdown with Google Cardboard

20 April 2020


I’ve been wanting someone to try this for three years now but never quite had the time or space to properly implement it. Stay with me because I think it’s really cool. The number of virtual tours across our network is growing really quickly. They’re shiny, they exhibit very well at tradeshows and are subsequently uploaded to an offshoot page on the gallery section of a website. To be honest, I think in 95% of cases they’re completely wasted. There is so much more that can be done with them beyond a simple embed and here is how.

The VR Headset Industry

VR headsets have had a real rise in popularity. Oculus has launched some pretty awesome products and I’m sure they will continue to develop now they’re owned by Facebook. However, it’s at the other end of the spectrum that I see the most potential. Google Cardboard is an inexpensive VR viewer that has a couple of lenses, holds a phone and is easy to assemble yourself. It does, however, make great use of all the tech IN the smartphone and allows you to engage in 3D scenes very easily and inexpensively.

Google, however, has slightly gone quiet on the subject and in November 2019 said that it would open-source the Cardboard SDK. This means that the whole world now has access to their development kit! Did Google ship many? No, 15 million worldwide. From a market saturation point of view, not many.

So where am I going with this? I want to go back to a word I used earlier: “inexpensive”. They are literally under $5 each to produce. That puts them perfectly in the range of brochure giveaways and tradeshow paraphernalia. The cool thing is all your virtual tours are probably already compatible with them.

How to deliver show rounds through VR

My suggestion: If we have a showground for weddings or events, these should be complemented with a fully branded VR headset with a QR code on it. The user can then take this away and experience the venue in genuine 3D in the comfort of their own home. Think of couples taking them home after a wedding venue show round? In the same way that couples request a brochure, they could request a free headset with a scannable link.

These items wouldn’t just be one use, they would then be used to access a whole load of 3D content going forwards.

Adapt Your Showround Strategy

Using virtual tours and bespoke VR headsets

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