Virtual Tours & VR Explained

What is a virtual tour (VT)?

Virtual tours are the simulation of an existing location with the help of sequential videos or still images. Other multimedia elements like music, sound effects, floor plans, etc., could also be used. They help in recreating a realistic representation of reality. Virtual tours help in presenting views to inaccessible areas and provide an interesting and excellent alternative to fieldwork when expenses, time or logistics are a barrier.

What is virtual reality (VR)?

Virtual Reality (VR) is a 3D computer generated ‘virtual’ environment that users explore and interact with in an immersive way. The feeling of being present in these environments requires the use of a VR headset. Some examples include: Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VRHTC Vive, Google Daydream View, or Google Cardboard.

While immersing yourself in VR requires a headset, the foundational component of all virtual reality is 360° video, which means that dHL tours can be navigated on desktop computers or mobile devices.

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and 360°

While the term virtual reality may be used to describe different types of immersive or altered reality experiences, it is not the same as augmented reality. 

Virtual Reality

  • uses VR headsets or closed head-mounted displays (HMDS) to completely insulate and immerse the user in an alternative world

Augmented Reality

  • adds or supplements to our existing reality with digital objects and overlays
  • enhances our presence by ‘augmenting’ reality 

Mixed or Merged Reality

  • uses a holographic lens to converge VR and AR where virtual objects interact with real-world objects


  • creates 360° panorama photos or videos
  • uses 360° cameras to integrate multiple images 

Note: 360° captures are not VR. However, 360-degree captures are used in VR so users can view 360° content within a VR headset. With 360-degree content, users are not fully immersed because they can look up, down, and around, but not move forward like they can in VR. 

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