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Virtual Experiences Vs Hotspot Tours: Everything You Need To Know

March 9, 2023

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Here at EnvisionVR, we believe that you should be able to walk unrestricted in a Virtual Space, anytime and anywhere! One of the questions we get asked all the time is what is the difference between Virtual Experiences and Hotspot tours. So let’s jump in and compare the pros and cons of each!

Virtual Experiences

So let’s step back, what are Virtual Experiences? They are immersive, 1:1 scale property experiences of off-the-plan and pre-build properties that can be accessed anytime and anywhere. Yes, you heard correctly; you can now walk through a future space virtually, with no cords or cables in perfect scale as though it was already built. We do this by making use of the latest AR and VR technology to create a life-like experience for the viewer on mobile phones, tablets and VR headsets.  

If we had to pick to top benefits of our Virtual Experiences they would be:  

Walk or click ANYWHERE! That’s right, you can explore every inch of the virtual property in all its detail. Just like in reality, you can walk or navigate by clicking to wherever you like, there are absolutely no restrictions on where you can move.

Mobile friendly, because you shouldn’t need a high-powered computer to view your experience! Our platform can be viewed using mobile phones, tablets and VR headsets.

Offline viewing. No internet, no problem! Simply download your experience and you can view it offline as a solo viewing.

Analytics. As an agent, developer or builder, we know that you want to know who is engaging with the project. You can access customer-level insights and analytics in a single dashboard online or integrate with existing CRM to create targeted outreach workflows.

Tagging, upgrades and schemes. Did you know you can make your Virtual Experiences even better and make LIVE changes whilst in the experience?! You can switch between colour schemes, upgrade your materials or read more information on tagged items.

Guided Viewing. Because Virtual Experiences shouldn’t be solo! Connect with your buyers anytime, anywhere IN the Virtual Apartment or Home. Guided viewings allow the agent to guide the buyer through the Virtual Experience as if they were there in person. Learn more

Web hosting available. Want to put your experience on your website? No worries. Our Virtual Experiences can be hosted on your site and your views can explore by clicking anywhere in the space they want to move to.  

So how do these Virtual Experiences compare to Hotspot Tours? What are the differences?

Hotspot Tours

Hotspot Tours are a collection of 360 images that allow the user to explore a space by clicking on pre-determined spots on a floor plan. You may have experienced these in the form of a Matterport tour for built spaces, but they can also be created for unbuilt spaces using 360 rendered images (similar to CGIs but think a sphere not flat).

The main benefits of these tours are they are often high quality and provide a more immersive experience than renders and are often cheaper than our Virtual Experiences.

However, these benefits also come with some limitations.  

Restricted movement. Whilst you can explore the whole space, this is limited to pre-determined places, meaning that you can’t move around, you can only look around in 360 degrees. Imagine going to an open home and not being able to walk!

Fish-eye perspective. The nature of 360 images and how they work, means that you will have a warping of perspective when looking around the space, this can be problematic if you really want to get a feel for the size and layout of the design.  

Awkward transitions between hotspots. To move between fixed viewing locations the user “jumps” depending on the provider this can be an awkward experience and definitely does not mimic real world viewing.

Slow load time. To achieve the high quality of Hotspot tours, they require a lot of processing power and depending on your device this can produce very slow load times. If you are hosting on your website, this is something to be mindful of as it can impact your whole site’s experience.

Single viewing experience. Because they are web-based, Hotspot tours don’t allow you to meet in the Virtual Space and conduct tours/inspections.

No offline mode. Another limitation of web-based is that you need internet connection to view the experience!

When deciding between Virtual Experiences and Hotspot tours, it really comes down to what you want to achieve for your end user and how you want them to experience it. I think you know what we think but why not try our demo experience and make your own decision.

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