What is a Photosphere Image?
A photosphere image is a photograph that includes everything all around the camera when the photo is taken. Recent advances have enabled 360 degree panoramas to also include everything 360 degrees vertically as well as 360 degrees vertically, making them photo spheres.
What are Photospheres used for?
Photosphere images allow us to create “virtual reality” (VR) experiences, where we see everything in a location as if we were really there even though we are somewhere else. To varying degrees, VR immerses us in an environment even from great distances and can be used for a variety of purposes, some fun, others very serious, some very useful, others frivolous. Common examples of applications of VR technology include:
- Virtual tours of homes for sale by Realtors, allowing potential buyers to see a house in a far away city, without the expense
- Allowing surgeons to strategize and practice before attempting difficult surgeries
- Video gaming over the internet, and in VR arcades
- Training pilots and astronauts in realistic simulations that would be very expensive, dangerous, or impossible to duplicate in real life
- Google Street View, the world’s largest virtual tour, allows us to visit a place we are traveling to and plan our journey, knowing what to expect.
- And now, car enthusiasts can showcase the interior of their car letting people experience all of your work WITHOUT the fingerprints and the dirt on the floor mats!
This Is A Photosphere Image?
This is what a photosphere image looks like, without the specialized software that renders (think draw it on your screen) it in the immersive VR format!
THIS Is A Photosphere Image!
This is the same image rendered as a photosphere. You can zoom in and out, tilt up and down, and rotate left and right (click and drag with your mouse or on the screen of your device)
To view your 360 Panorama and take advantage of being able to “look around”, you need to:
- Post it on Facebook
- Upload it to Google Photos
- Use a Panorama viewer app on your phone, tablet, or computer.
- Mac & Windows: Ricoh Theta Basic app (Free)
- View it using Google Cardboard