I've regularly posted on 360° pano apps and their potential for Commercial Real Estate. Examples include TourWrist, 360 Panorama by Occipital, and Photosynth. Apple even jumped one step further and made the panoramic photo feature a standard one for iPhone 5.
Google didn't wait too long to join the party either.
With the newest roll out of Android 4.2, Google announced one of its newest applications "Photo Sphere". It looks like Google may have just upped the ante.
One of the reasons that 360° panos haven't taken off for commercial real estate may be because, without professional equipment, it is pretty difficult to take a pano that doesn't look amateur.
But with Photo Sphere, the image stitching appears to be so good that this is no longer the case.
Photo Sphere takes inspiration from Google Maps' Street View:
Photo Sphere lets you create photos that are richer and more immersive than anything that has ever come out of a mobile device.
We were inspired by Street View in Google Maps, and the sophisticated pieces of equipment that Google custom-developed in order to bring you 360-degree photos from all over the world
Another Google application taking inspiration from Street View is Google Business Photos and Indoor Imagery. In that post, I commented:
This is a shame because it would be cool if users could upload their own 360° Panos to Google Maps. Maybe Google could provide a way to filter out user-submitted content, if the viewer prefers less “professional” tours be excluded?…
While the user-submitted 360° pano tours would not be as interactive as the Professional “walkable” version, it would be a great way for Google to begin to build more indoor content.
It’d also be an awesome way to keep The CRE Map Wars raging…
All I can say is, keep the innovation coming!