Roundme, a virtual tour guide, is the topic of our interview today. The web (and mobile) app allows users to explore spaces all over the world in free-range motion. Using Portals, users can travel around these virtual spaces freely and fluidly, while learning things through the use of Information Hotspots. We had a chance to talk with Konstantin Andreev of Roundme and ask him a couple questions about his app. He talks about the inspiration behind Roundme and how virtual reality is changing the real estate market. Keep reading below for the interview!
Examiner: Care to introduce yourself and your role at Roundme?
My name is Konstantin Andreev. I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Roundme.
Examiner: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us! What is Roundme, in your words?
Roundme is an simple and beautiful online solution that helps to create and showcase virtual tours quickly and easily. We started by introducing the concept of Spaces. A Space is a set of panoramic images connected through Portals and filled with multimedia content in hotspots. A Space is a virtual tour that tells a story.
Roundme is useful for many types of users. Professional panoramic photographers can use Roundme to showcase portfolios and to find new jobs. Businesses can use Roundme to find photographers, host virtual tours and showcase (embed) Spaces on their website or blog.
Also, Roundme can be used by anyone who is interested in exploring the world, through virtual tours, from the comfort of their home.
Examiner: What inspired the creation of Roundme?
The idea was born when we were working in the real estate market and had the vision of using virtual tours to showcase our property listings.
But, at that time, there was no simple way to create virtual tours. We couldn’t find a web-based user-friendly solution, so, we decided to create our own.
After playing around with a few different prototypes, we soon understood that Roundme could become something special.
Examiner: How does Roundme use Portals to give the user a more immersive experience?
Portals are points of interest that are used to simplify navigation through Spaces. By clicking on a Portal, users are taken to a new, accompanying panoramic space. The size and positioning of a Portal can be adjusted to inform the user about the exact location of that Portal.
Examiner: How does the submission process work? Can anyone upload virtual tours?
Anyone can upload Spaces to Roundme – all you need are panoramic images. The creating process is intuitive – with a few drag and drops and clicks you can create a Space with multiple panoramas. Each Space can have Portals, Informational Hotspots, Space Maps, Sounds and many more useful features.
Examiner: Very nice. You mentioned real estate earlier, how is VR (and Roundme) changing the real estate market?
Real estate is about advertising your property, and making it appear attractive on a computer screen. The best real estate agencies try to include high-quality photos with their listings. This is ok, but VR content for real estate listings is the next step – it is now possible to offer virtual tours through the property.
Using virtual tours, clients can see a property inside and out in a fast and convenient way, saving time spent on useless tours. VR content also provides a “wow” effect, especially when using VR-headsets – this is possible with the Roundme App.
Examiner: There’s obviously a web version, is there a mobile version, as well?
We already have a web version for desktop and an iOS app and in 2-3 weeks we will release a web version for mobile devices, and in September we plan to release an Android App.
Examiner: Anything exciting coming to Roundme in the next 12 months that you would like to talk about?
We have many exciting things will happen in next 12 months! We have Pro-account release which offers more useful features for professional photographers, such as the ability to upload higher quality content, multi-resolution support, safe upload and storage dowloading, detailed statistics, etc. The Pro-account will give professional photographers more opportunity to showcase their work and be hired to create virtual tours.
Users will also have the ability to use the Roundme platform to request a Space that they want created by a Roundme user. With that, Monetization with Spaces Upgrades – extra features, such as custom maps, privacy control and branding will be available. There is also an Android app in development/
We’d like to thank Konstantin for taking the time to answer some of our questions! If you’d like to learn more about Portals, Spaces, and Virtual tours make sure to check out Roundme.