360 degree virtual tour of Alpha College
The post-Alphe workshop fam tour schedule has become pretty competitive in recent years, with a myriad of school associations - both loose and formal - offering trips to entice partners to all corners of the UK, Ireland and sometimes even farther afield.
So, what to do? We still wanted to show people around the school and give them a feel for what their students would experience, but there seemed to be a smaller pool of partners to choose from. As a solution, we decided to take agents on a virtual tour as a way to stand out at this busy B2B workshop and bring our school to them.
Technology to the rescue!
As those closest to me may know, I’m a bit of a geek at heart and I love my shiny new tech toys so this fam trip issue had given us the perfect opportunity to try out our new 360 degree video camera.
Over the course of an afternoon before heading to London we simply recorded about one minute of footage from different points around our building without any direct interaction or audio included. The idea was to enable partners to virtually stand in the middle of these rooms in Dublin from the comfort of the workshop meeting chairs in London, with a voiceover providing the context of where they were.
Putting the video together was just like editing any video - albeit with a very distorted image - where you take the clips you want and arrange them on a timeline to bring the viewer through the process.
When the visual storyline was in place, we then recorded a specific audio voiceover using my iPhone microphone. The accompanying audio was placed over each clip, explaining which room the viewer was in and giving a little context if necessary.
There are a few other technical steps in the export routine to tell video players which support 360 degree videos that this is indeed a 360 degree video and please distort the image in such a way as it makes sense.
Then we uploaded the video to YouTube which supports 360 degree video natively and even offers a fantastic “Cardboard” option to view in stereoscopic vision using a headset so you can get an even more immersive feel.
The final step was getting a headset and headphones to bring with us to the workshop so we could give people the full experience. The image below is Nicola Hancox from Study Travel magazine trying out the tour.
The great thing about the YouTube player is you don’t necessarily need the headset to get the 360 degree experience; you can view the video on your computer and simply click and drag around the screen to adjust the viewing angle. Or on your smartphone, you can move the phone around and the accelerometer adjusts the video for you (or you can still use your finger to swipe around instead if you don’t want to get dizzy!).
Check out the Alphe virtual tour below for yourself!