I compare five popular free 360° Virtual Tour building platforms to see how they stack up. Which is the easiest to use and which offers the best tools for the free price tag? Note these can all be made using Vectorworks Panorama images.
I also want to clarify what the little VR icon does in all five of these products. It simply splits the screen monoscopically for use on google cardboard or similar. To me, it’s kind of a pointless feature since the quality with google cardboard is the absolute worst. You can certainly view the virtual tour in a VR browser (without enabling the split screen VR mode), but it will still be confined to the browser window and not a fully immersive 360° environment.
In my opinion, the products below are amazing tools to create quick, easy and cheap Virtual Tours for viewing within a normal 2D web browser, not for VR.
It gets the job done quickly but it’s not very impressive. [UPDATE: Google is shutting down Tour Creator as of June 30, 2021.]
It only took me 6 minutes to build out a tour with three images. You can upload your own icon for the points of interest, which are simply written descriptions. It is easy to share and obtain an embed code.
There are no hotspots, so the only way to move from image to image is by clicking on image thumbnails at the bottom sequentially, like an image carousel. The images themselves look blurry.
Easy to use, lots of options, but less than ideal image quality.
I thought the interface was fairly easy to use. I like the default hotspots, though you can add custom ones, too. Viewers can add comments. Orbix 360 is very well integrated with facebook in case social media marketing is a priority.
Decent image quality. I’m not understanding how to set initial views. Technically you can embed a video, but it visibly overlaps your image, as opposed to a pop-up window via an info icon. And I personally couldn’t get a youtube video to play automatically.
Easy interface and great quality, but only 3 freebies.
Great image quality. The interface is very easy to understand, it’s obvious how to add scenes and hotspots. You can integrate a floor plan, embed youtube videos, or add custom icons if you don’t love their defaults.
Setting the initial views between photos is complicated. New users only get three basic tours for free, then it’s $10 per tour after that. No commenting.
Super easy, excellent quality, and has everything you need!
Excellent image quality. It’s probably the easiest user interface on this list. Integrate floor plan(s) with Vectorworks 360° Panoramas and add hotspots to move back and forth between them. Reviewers don’t need a Cloud Services subscription to view the share link and can add comments. Lastly, you can add a hotspot that opens and plays a video.
You cannot upload custom icons for hotspots or embedded/linked media.
Best quality and ultimate customization options.
Excellent image quality. Theasys definitely offers the most customization options. You can add your own logo, rotate the images or hide the nadir. It also automatically adjusts the first views between your images and blends them together in the transition.
It took me a little while to understand how to navigate around their editor and interface, but was totally worth it because there are so many things you can do with this free service.