80% of Millennials want to take a Virtual Tour before visiting businesses

80% of Millennials want to take a Virtual Tour before visiting your store. According to population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials are on the verge of surpassing Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation. Generation Z is the first generation to have Internet technology available at an early age. With the web revolution that occurred throughout the 1990s and phone evolution in the mid-2000s, they have been exposed to an unlimited amount of technology. As technology became more compact and affordable, and the popularity of smartphones grew in the United States, Gen Z experienced life and business in wildly “unusual” ways than their parents. It is no secret that 54% of millennials shop online. 79% of millennials are using their smartphones to compare retailers. This generation is most likely to research your product and store first before going to make the actual purchase. 80% of millennials want to take a Virtual Tour before visiting your business. If you want to be in the running, you need a Virtual Tour to make the customer’s path from online to offline as seamless as possible. Millennials are spending $600 billion annually and that makes them the most powerful consumers of our time. hashtag#millennialshashtag#virtualtours

Create your own “See Inside” Thumbnail in the Google Knowledge Graph

Do you miss the “See Inside” thumbnail featured on Google knowledge graph listings with virtual tours? Know you can create your own! Create a post on Google my Business.

Use a screenshot of your virtual tour, and add the “See Inside” text if you’d like. Make the post an “event” and have it expire after 1-year. After which you’ll have to do it again.

Add Google Virtual Tour to Facebook Business Page

1. Static HTML: iframe tabs https://apps.facebook.com/static_html_plus/?hc_location=ufi
Static HTML makes it simple to build iframe tabs for your business.
2. Copy the “embed” code from Google Maps where you want the tour to start.
3. Set the iFrame width to 100% and the height to 800 px to fill the available space.

Why Google Virtual Tours are Crucial to Digital Marketing

As the world moves towards a more technological age, consumers are always looking for companies that provide top notch services reachable from their phones. One such company is the multi-giant Google, the leading company behind the most used search engine in the world. Google not only serves the general population but also entrepreneurs that choose to use Google to take their businesses to the next level.\

Read More @ LinkedIn

facebook 360 degree photos

Facebook Adding 360-Degree Photos

Like Facebook’s 360-degree video, 360-degree photos will primarily live on the News Feed. They will display as still images until the viewer moves the phone or mouse around to look around the picture. Additionally, the photos will be able to be viewed by strapping on a virtual reality headset like the Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift.

Read more via Buzzfeed.

Google 360° Data Center Tour

Take a 360° Video Tour of a Google Data Center

What is a Google data center? Simply stated it’s your computer, on a massive scale. Except they have 10s of thousands of servers and data drives. It’s where Google Search, Maps, Gmail, Drive, Photos and other data lives. Google excels better than most at keeping all this hardware cooled efficiently, and of course security is a huge priority. Because of proprietary networking technology, Google also manages to move tremendous amounts of data effortlessly.

Google’s Neural Network Guesses Image Location

An interesting question is how PlaNet performs so well without being able to use the cues that humans rely on, such as vegetation, architectural style, and so on. But Weyand and co say they know why: “We think PlaNet has an advantage over humans because it has seen many more places than any human can ever visit and has learned subtle cues of different scenes that are even hard for a well-traveled human to distinguish.”

They go further and use the machine to locate images that do not have location cues, such as those taken indoors or of specific items. This is possible when images are part of albums that have all been taken at the same place. The machine simply looks through other images in the album to work out where they were taken and assumes the more specific image was taken in the same place.

Read more @ MIT Technology Review

A New Dimension in Home Buying: Virtual Reality

This technology is expected to transform the real estate industry and, some say, make house-hunting more efficient. It can help to reduce the stress of relocating to a new city or buying from abroad and also allow buyers to visualize properties in development.

What is now available to consumers and growing more popular is the 3D walk-through. This is an updated version of the panoramic camera shots that were all the rage a decade ago. There’s no headset. Users move their mouse or arrow keys from their computer keyboards and devices to navigate through rooms and zoom in on apartment features. Halstead has 3D walk-throughs available for 30 listings, including one on Cornelia Street in the West Village, but its goal is to get its entire inventory online. Mr. Leone said that people stay on a page with a 3D walk-through 10 times longer than those without.

Read more: The New York Times

Google New Logo

Google’s Brings Virtual Reality Class Trips to Schools – Expedition Pioneer Program

Google Expeditions Pioneer Program brings more than 100 possible journeys to the classroom. These include exotic locations, like trips to Mars, The Amazon, Borneo National Park, or the bottom of the sea. The also offer career expeditions, to see what it’s like to be a pilot or veterinarian for example. Virtual journeys last about 20 minutes. Far less than an actual trip to Mars, or Borneo, and far more affordable.

Google Expeditions is a program that allows students to experience some wonderful journeys through virtual reality viewers. The journeys are appropriate for 3rd to 8th graders, and teachers can modify the notes and curriculum. Teacher’s kits which are included in the program allow the teacher to control and moderate from a tablet. Also included is some background, and key information for teachers to point out to students.

“The sounds are all authentic and the visuals are real. It’s as close to being there without actually leaving the school,” said Joanne Geremia-Baggio, principal at St. John Catholic Elementary School in Guelph. “There’s just no way we could actually take any of these trips.”

Google for Education helps school acquire tablets, laptops and other technology for the classroom and they assist teachers to link the technology with lessons and resources.

However, you don’t need a virtual reality headset or special program to explore destinations near you in virtual reality right through your web browser. Google Maps Street View brings exterior views of almost every location, and Google Street View | Trusted Business Photographers are adding interiors every day. Here’s an example of a 360 degree panoramic photosphere we recently did on the steps of the ND Capitol Building, or see inside.


After the Google Street View | Trusted Virtual Tour – Next Steps


Great job! You’ve showcased the interior of your business using Google StreetView technology. You’re enjoying the benefits of a premium Search listing, and the “See Inside” feature has been enabled on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+! You’re one of 10,000 businesses adding Google Street View | Trusted tours monthly, and you’ve experienced first hand that people who visit your tour are twice as likely to visit your business.

What next?

  • Update your Google+ page. We’ve already helped optimize your page, now be sure to keep it up-to-date. Do you have seasonal business hours? Do you use a consistent phone number online? Have you added any locations?
  • Promote your products and services on Google Images, Pinterest, and other social media networks. Social media loves imagery. Your Google Street View | Trusted tour and still photos are perfect for sharing, and getting shared.
  • Add the virtual tour to your website. You can add multiple starting spots, or enhance with overlays to make the tour a useful tool for your website visitors. We can help deliver a unique experience.
  • Increase the number of positive reviews on Google+, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and UrbanSpoon. The easiest way is to simply ask your customers, in person, and on your website. We can also help with other ideas for increasing your reviews, and improving your online reputation.
  • Use YouTube as a powerful way to promote your business. Whether this a a professional 60-90 second business profile video, or smart phone video about you and your business. We can help create a YouTube video of your tour with professional voice over, or a business profile video.