Altrincham-born Richard Gould set up Vision Virtual Tours just before the pandemic sent the world virtual.
Here he explains why 3D virtual tours are such unique marketing tools for local businesses.
ALTRINCHAM TODAY: Tell us a bit more about your background and how you came to set up Vision Virtual Tours?
RICHARD GOULD: I have lived in Altrincham my whole life; I went to local primary schools, then Altrincham Grammar School for Boys and I’m also a Scout Leader at 4th Hale Scout Group.
Altrincham was the perfect location to set up my business; there is a wide variety of unique businesses of all shapes and sizes, the property market is strong, there is great community spirit and it’s also close to Manchester.
I have always been interested in photography, ever since getting my first point and shoot camera and taking it on holidays and day trips out. Since then my skills have developed and I currently use a DSLR with a range of lenses, a 360 camera, my professional 3D Scanner and two DJI Drones.
The idea of 3D virtual tours came to mind, I think, when I first saw a 3D virtual tour of ancient Egypt. I was struck at how immersive and interactive it was. Simply being able to walk around an ancient Egyptian temple, learn all about the history and see its entirety in a 3D model, all from my laptop! I was simply blown away that this was possible.
From then I was hooked on 3D image and data capture, and set up Vision Virtual Tours at the beginning of 2020.
AT: Give us a bit of insight into the technique and equipment you use
RG: We use a professional, state-of-the-art 3D Scanner which incorporates three infrared sensors and six image processing sensors to capture the whole property.
The imaging sensors allow us to produce high resolution 360-degree images that are used for the virtual tour itself, or can be extracted as standalone 2D images.
The infrared sensors capture the building in true 3D. They accurately record the dimensions and technical data of the space to produce a ‘3D mesh’, allowing technical ‘Point Cloud’ data to be extracted and used by the architecture, engineering and construction industries.
We pride ourselves in producing bespoke, high quality 3D virtual tours at an affordable price. We want to be able to stun our clients by how accurate and real to life their digital 3D model and tour is, as we know this in turn will wow their customers and have maximum impact.
AT: What kind of businesses do you work with and what kind of jobs have you worked on in Altrincham?
RG: We have seen a dramatic growth in the publicity and popularity of virtual tours due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have been working with a selection of local estate agents including Hibbert Homes, who have been learning about the unique features 3D virtual tours bring to their properties.
We also recently worked with Bowdon St Mary’s Church to help better market their venue spaces by producing a pair of 3D virtual tours with the goal of increasing their bookings and revenue. We also attached the virtual tours to Google Street View to help boost their Google ranking.
Recently we produced a 3D virtual tour for Rustic in Altrincham. They are going to be using it as part of their marketing, allowing potential customers to step inside and see what makes them unique.
Due to the versatility of the technology, we can produce a 3D Digital Space for just about any industry, including retail, museums, factories, manufacturing facilities, hotels, restaurants and other venues. The possibilities are endless.
For more information about Vision Virtual Tours, call Richard on 0161 706 1055 or visit visionvirtualtours.co.uk