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  • Writer's pictureRavi

How to view 360 photos in VR using (Meta) Oculus Quest?

View 360 photos in VR using Meta Quest

Virtual reality technology is rapidly transforming the way we design and construct buildings. One of the exciting aspects of VR is the ability to view 360-degree photos or panoramas, which allows architects, designers, and builders to experience their projects in a whole new way. If you're a professional in the design and construction industry, you can take advantage of this technology by viewing your 360 photos or panoramas in VR on the Meta Quest headset. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the steps on how to do just that, so you can enhance your design process and gain a more immersive perspective of your projects.

Before we dive into how SENTIO VR enables complete 360 to VR workflows, here are a few frequently asked questions you may want to quickly read first:

  1. Is there an official photo viewing app for Quest 2?

  2. What are the use cases for 360 photos in AEC?

  3. What are the formats of 360 photos for VR?

  4. How to create 360 photos or renders for my projects?

  5. How to view 360 photos on Meta (Oculus) Quest headset?

Let's dive into each of these questions step-by-step:

Is there an official photo viewing app for Quest 2?

As of April'2023, the short answer is No. If you are looking to drag & drop your 360 photos to a dedicated app for viewing your panoramas, there is no simple way to do it on an official app. However, there is a workaround shared on Meta's documentation that you could use following this tutorial. It requires connecting your headset via a cable to your PC to transfer your photos manually to a dedicated sub-folder in your files directory and viewing using the Meta Quest TV App.

What are the use cases for using 360 photos in AEC?

  1. Client presentations in the design stage: 360 renders allow architects, engineers, and designers to visualize their designs in a more realistic and immersive way. This can help them identify potential issues and make necessary changes before construction begins.

  2. Marketing tool for commercial teams: 360 photos can be used to showcase completed projects on websites and social media platforms. This can help attract new clients and showcase the capabilities of the AEC firm.

  3. Site documentation for construction teams: Compared to traditional photography and video production, 360 photos are relatively inexpensive to produce.

What are the different formats for 360 photos to VR?

Equirectangular: This is the most common format of 360-degree photos. It is a rectangular image that has been stretched and distorted to fit the 360-degree sphere. The image has an aspect ratio of 2:1.

  1. Cubemaps: Cube Map images are six individual images that are projected onto the faces of a cube. When the cube is unfolded, the six images create a seamless 360-degree photo.

In addition to the formats, the images can be Monoscopic or Stereoscopic panoramas. In summary, the key difference between monoscopic and stereoscopic photos is that stereoscopic photos provide a sense of depth and dimensionality, while monoscopic photos do not. Stereoscopic photos are more immersive and provide a more realistic experience, while monoscopic photos are simpler and easier to create. For a deeper dive into this topic, check this article.

Different 360 formats for VR
Compatible formats of 360 images

How to create 360 photos or renders from my 3D designs?

All major industry 3D softwares have a simple and direct workflow for exporting 360 panoramas. If you are working on photorealistic rendering softwares like Lumion, Enscape, Twinmotion, Unreal or any other popular tools, you can easily export panoramas to your desktop in jpg or png formats. The only difference between a standard render of a particular view versus a 360 panorama is that it enables end users to view the complete view of the scene. In order to create this view, you will need virtual tour software like SENTIO VR to convert these images into shareable virtual tours with clients on the web and VR headsets.

Sample 360 image exported from Lumion
Sample 360 image exported from Lumion

How to view 360 photos on Meta Quest Headsets?

Once you're in VR mode, you can explore the 360 photos or panorama by turning your head and looking around. You can even move around by using the controller or physically walking around (if you have enough space). Take your time to explore and enjoy the immersive experience.

Step 1: Drag-and-drop 360 images in the SENTIO VR editor Access Sentio VR editor on the website and locate the option to upload or import 360 images. SentioVR allows you to simply drag and drop your desired 360 photos in the editor. This will allow you to work with your images and create immersive experiences.

Drag and drop 360 images

Step 2: Create a 360 virtual tour using hotspots, floor plans, infographics, video and audio

After importing your 360 images, you can start creating a virtual tour. Sentio VR provides various tools and features to enhance your experience. You can add hotspots, which are interactive elements that allow users to navigate between different scenes or points of interest within your 360 photos or panoramas. Additionally, you can incorporate floor plans, infographics, videos, and audio to provide additional information or context to your virtual tour.

Add hotspots, floor plans, inforgraphics, video & audio

Step 3: Download the SENTIO VR Meta Quest headset and enter your 6 digit code

To view your created virtual tour on a Meta Quest headset, you need to download the SENTIO VR application from the Oculus Store onto your headset. Once installed, launch the app and you will be prompted to enter a 6-digit code provided by Sentio VR. Enter the code accurately, and the application will load your virtual tour, allowing you to explore and experience it in immersive 360-degree visuals.

Download SENTIO VR App from Oculus tore onto your headset

Conclusion: Benefits of using a VR app for 360 tours

In conclusion, viewing 360 photos or panoramas in VR on Meta Quest is a fun and immersive way to experience the world around you. With just a few simple steps, you can explore virtual environments in full 3D and feel like you're really there. So, find some 360 photos or panoramas and give it a try!

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