VR Tour - Add-on to a 3D Walking Tour

Add the optional VR Tour to a 3D Walking Tour to offer your prospects an immersive experience in a VR headset or smartphone. The VR Tour is a separate application from the 3D Walking Tour, and it is best for use in VR-ready smartphone or a VR headset. 

In this article, you can learn about the differences between a 3D Walking Tour and a VR Tour, the benefits of a VR Tour, devices that are compatible with the VR Tour, and how to view a VR Tour.

VR Tour is an add-on: It is necessary to purchase a 3D Walking Tour to order the VR Tour as an add-on.

Comparing the VR Tour with the 3D Walking Tour

When you purchase the VR Tour add-on, you’ll receive two links. One link is the regular 3D Walking Tour link, and the other is a separate VR-ready link that enables a user to turn on VR mode and view the tour in a compatible VR headset or smartphone

The 3D Walking Tours and Virtual Reality Tour are similar, but there are several differences:

  • Both tour types are created from a 3D Floor Plan (a 3D model) using panoramic renderings.

  • Both tour types provide the ability to navigate from one room to another. The VR navigation typically offers one or two viewpoints for each room. The 3D Walking Tour allows the user to roam more freely in each room—since it provides more viewpoints. 

  • Both tour types provide the user with the ability to navigate by desktop or touchscreen. Only the VR Tour can be seen through a VR headset.

  • In the VR Tour, the user cannot switch to the 3D floor plan aerial view.

  • The 3D Walking Tour includes a header menu for navigation between floor plans and to see unit information. The VR Tour includes thumbnails at the bottom of the screen to navigate between floor plans.

  • 3D Walking Tours are hosted at 3DPlans.com; VR Tours are hosted at roundme.com. Hosting is no additional cost.

View an example of a VR Tour.

Compatible Devices

3DPlans.com recommends Oculus Go, the all-in-one headset

To use the VR Tour at your property, you’ll need to purchase a separate VR headset, such as the Oculus Go—which is the device that we most recommend for stand-alone use in a leasing/sales office.

The Oculus Go is a stand-alone headset with a built-in screen and battery. It connects to the Internet by means of a wi-fi network, and charges with a standard USB outlet. Setup is simple, and the device is affordable. View and purchase the Oculus Go on Amazon (we do not sell headsets or equipment).

Below, you can find a list of compatible headsets and smartphones. If you decide to use a different device, it’s best to test the device with our example VR Tour before ordering the VR Tours.

Compatible Headsets (Require a VR Ready Smartphone)

Compatible Phones

  • iPhone 6 and later editions

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 and later editions

  • Any edition of Google Pixel

  • Any smartphone that supports WebGL

Open a VR Tour in a smartphone

The Oculus Go and other standalone VR headsets give you the ability to view a VR Tour using a built-in browser within the VR headset’s operating system.

It’s easy to start a VR session by following these steps:

  1. On the smartphone, open the VR-ready tour in the browser using the link given by 3DPlans.com.

  2. Tap on the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner, then tap WebVR mode.

  3. Place the phone into a VR ready headset, such as the Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.

  4. Have the user wear the headset.

  5. Explore the first room that is shown, then navigate using the teardrop icons located on screen in the location of nearby rooms.

Open a VR Tour in an Oculus Go or standalone headset

The Oculus Go and other standalone VR headsets give you the ability to view a VR Tour using a built-in browser within the VR headset’s operating system.

It’s easy to start a VR session by following these steps:

  1. Turn on the headset. 

  2. Have the user wear the headset.

  3. Open the web browser within the headset.

  4. Open the link for the VR Tour.

  5. Select the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner, then select WebVR mode. The view will change from the browser to the immersive 3D environment within the headset.

  6. Explore the first room that is shown, then navigate using the teardrop icons located on screen in the location of nearby rooms.

The VR Tour Design Process

The VR Tour is an add-on to the 3D Walking Tour, and the tour is accessible through a separate link that is different from the 3D Walking Tour. The process to create a VR Tour after a 3D Walking Tour project is finished takes 2-4 days. Contact your project manager if you need the VR Tour link sooner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What devices are available for viewing a VR Tour?

There are two primary types of devices for viewing VR, a smartphone with a VR viewer or a Standalone VR Headset.

Smartphone + VR Viewer

One method for viewing a VR Tour is using a smartphone together with a VR viewing device, such as the Google Cardboard ($15) or the Google Daydream View ($99). This is an inexpensive option that works well for users who want to view the VR Tours at home.

This is the Google Daydream viewer:

This is the Google Cardboard viewer:

Standalone VR Headset

A standalone VR headset combines a built-in screen, battery, and wi-fi capability into a single device. 3DPlans.com recommends the Oculus Go headset for the best mix of comfort, ease-of-use, and affordability.

How do I navigate in the VR Tour?

The gyroscope within the headset manages the view for the VR Tour. All that is necessary is for the user to naturally rotate, look up, and look down.

Hot spots: It is not possible to translate a physical walk movement into a walk around in the VR. Instead, use the hotspots to navigate.

How can I switch between floor plans?

Switch out of view mode, and then look for the thumbnail menu in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Click the menu to view locations that are according to floor plan. Select the thumbnail group and then select a specific thumbnail.

NOTE: It is not possible to switch floor plans in VR mode.

Do I need any other app?

No, the application does not require an app. You can open any VR Tour directly in a web browser.

Is it necessary to have an Internet connection?

Yes, it is necessary to have an active Internet connection to view a VR Tour.

Can I use Google Cardboard?

Yes, Google Cardboard can be used for viewing the VR Tours. However, we don’t recommend it for a leasing/sales office because of potential comfort issues (it is necessary to hold the viewer) and the requirement to supply a smartphone.

How do I provide my prospects with the ability to view a 3D Walking Tour in VR?

Simply add the VR Tour link to your property website. You could, for example, add links to both the 3D Walking Tour and to the VR Tour. Or, you can include only the VR Tour link.

Is it necessary to buy a separate controller to navigate in a VR Tour?

Minimally, only a smartphone is necessary. The VR Tours are designed to navigate by looking around with the headset and viewing hotspots. However, when using a headset like the Oculus Go it is necessary to use a controller to navigate to the VR browser and open the tour. After opening the tour in WebVR mode, you can navigate without the controller.

What do you recommend for use in a leasing/sales office?

Viewing the VR Tour in a smartphone requires the purchase of smartphone, phone plan, and separate viewer. With an affordable standalone VR headset such as the Oculus Go, the user only needs to use a headset. Since it has a built-in screen and wi-fi, we recommend a standalone headset for use in a leasing office.

Does VR mode work when the VR Tour is embedded on a website?

VR mode only works when the application is opened in a separate tab or window. If the VR tour is embedded on the website, VR mode likely will not work. And so, we recommend adding a button that opens VR Tour link in another tab, such as “Access VR Mode” or similar.