There is something inherently fascinating about a fully panoramic photograph. Since their inception, people cannot seem to get enough of those ‘you are there’ location shots done in the 360-degree format. What is it about these images that draw us in? Perhaps it’s because they are such a new, cutting edge thing. Or it could be the idea that we, the viewer, can see everything from the sky above to the ground below, and ‘experience’ the place in a full circle over and over again is what keeps us hooked. Maybe it is the feeling that we are not just looking at something static, but interacting with it that mesmerizes us. Whatever the reason, we cannot look away. And the question that comes first is “How do they do that?”
While the ability to ‘move around’ in an image immediately conveys the idea that video is involved, it is not. A Virtual Tour is not a video. In fact, still cameras are used to capture the entire thing! Essentially, an extremely high-resolution DSLR camera, similar to the one you might take on vacation, is used. Coupled with a wide angle lens, it captures images which are then digitally stitched together into a full circle panoramic photograph. The resolution is so high that signage and even notes on a wall calendar can be read! Since the cameras are set up to photograph a full range of tones and exposure, there are no big, obtrusive lighting set ups used. In fact, all of the gear required to complete the photography is small enough to fit into a bag that fits in the overhead bin on a commercial jet liner!
In terms of efficiency, the process is actually quite fast, with many panoramic scenes being photographed in less than five minutes. This makes it perfect for photography in a healthcare setting where getting in and out without disrupting the workflow is vital. After photography is completed, other elements can be added; such as clickable hotspots, voice over narratives, music, etc. This makes for even more interaction.
All in all, the panoramic photograph is an amazing thing, and proof that technology continues to enable us to experience the world around us in new ways. It also is a highly effective marketing tool that helps people find the healthcare that fits their needs and desires. Everyone is fascinated by these interactive images – including your future clients. So call us, at virtual healthcare tours, and let us work with you in creating your Virtual Tour!