November 15th, 2015
There have been some developments since then that have caught my attention:
- In the last year or so there are a bunch of relatively inexpensive cameras that shoot 360 video. For example 360fly, Ricoh Theta, GoPro and Kodak SP360.
- In the beginning of 2015 YouTube started supporting 360 video. You can look at 360 video on anything that plays YouTube videos but on mobile devices moving the device around changes the direction you are looking in the 360 video. This makes 360 video on smartphones and tablets very interesting.
- This month the New York times started publishing 360 video in their to their digital subscribers. This means this technology is quickly moving into mainstream use. It’s not just techies that are going to be using it. I showed by 6-year-old granddaughter how to do it on her iPad and she likes it!
So what does all this have to do with real estate? These recent developments mean you can shoot 360 video of a listing, upload it to YouTube and then viewers that view it on mobile devices can have a pretty compelling viewing experience that I think is better viewing experience provided by ordinary spherical 360s.
Try it out. This YouTube video is a 360 video of Toronto Realtor Siu Ta giving a tour of the neighborhood and one of her listings in the Toronto Riverdale neighborhood. Watch the video on your mobile device (smartphone or tablet) and then rotate in different directions and the video automatically rotates with your body movement up, down left or right. You can also move the video around on a laptop or desktop screen by dragging the mouse in the direction you want to move, but I find this more awkward than viewing on a mobile device.
OK, I’m sure you can find faults with Siu Ta’s video but the 360 video cameras are just barely on the market. The quality will only get better and the prices will come down. I think that even though this technology many not be fully refined it won’t be long before 360 video will be able to replace the 360 spherical images with this more compelling, lower-cost alternative that takes less time to create. I don’t expect this to replace the beautiful cinematic style property videos. It’s a different medium. It’s a cross between traditional 360 images and traditional video. I think it will certainly replace the old style 360 spherical still images. But not traditional video.
What do you think?