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3D Virtual Tours were here long before the pandemic, but it wasn’t until COVID-19 forced businesses and other facilities to shut their doors that they became more popular. This technology quickly went from being a nice tool to have, to helping you stand out, to now being essential. In these times of uncertainty, a 3D can bring organizations and companies the certainty they need. 

 

Odyssey3D collaborated with the Silicon-Valley 3D giant – Matterport, to bring their tech to Toronto in 2016. Since then, we’ve helped York University and various other businesses to leverage 3D Virtual Tours. By creating digital twins of their facilities, we have helped them to connect with their clients, users and staff. Beyond YorkU, we’ve also worked with retirement homes, restaurants, showrooms and art galleries, warehouses, and much more.

In 2019 and 2020, Odyssey3D was the #1 Matterport provider in Toronto, having done the most volume of 3D tours!

 

Tom Wildridge, from Robert’s Gallery, worked with Odyssey3D on multiple projects to showcase different exhibitions. He asserts that 3D Virtual Tours have “been such a great upgrade for our website, and especially during this unprecedented time, it has been a great way for our clients to view our new space from the comfort of their own homes.”

What is a 3D Virtual Tour?

It’s a fully immersive walkthrough of a space that allows visitors to self navigate from anywhere in the world 24/7, via their computer, smartphone, and even a VR headset. There are powerful features within the 3D Virtual Tour that help make it a realistic experience, such as the Doll-house View and the Mattertag feature.


The 3D “Doll-house” provides a full overview of the entire space. It also provides quick navigation, where visitors can click anywhere in the model and transport there instantly.

Matterport 3D virtual Tour Dollhouse

The Mattertag feature makes it easy to include information, allowing you to embed not only text, but video, audio, and links as well. This feature can be used to insert custom guided tours anywhere in the model.

Matterport 3D Virtual Tour Mattertag Function

Universities and Colleges

Between the constant lockdowns and ever-changing restrictions, the pandemic has made traditional, in-person interactions nearly impossible. This is especially true for university/college visits and open houses. These are crucial experiences for both the facility and the student. They’re essential to recruitment, and help each student to make the right decision for them. In the past two years, many students have been missing out on this experience.

 

While the world makes its way through the pandemic, it’s important to provide students with an accessible alternative. A 3D Virtual Tour is the closest we can get, helping both the University/College and the student.

Toronto’s York University is a great testament to this powerful tool. YorkU joined the list of Canada’s most technologically advanced universities by capturing select campus facilities in 3D as a means to keep up with our constantly evolving digital world.

How did York University create a Digital Campus?

Even before the pandemic, York University saw the need to adapt to our modern digital world. They responded by initializing the digitization of their campus. We began our partnership with them in February 2019 when we worked together  to create a 3D Virtual Tour of the Seymour Schulich Building

Odyssey3D worked with YorkU again in 2020 to capture the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building, and The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence.

The Schulich School of Business

This building was built to be more than just an institution. It was designed with the intention of creating an atmosphere where students walking in would feel like they’re somewhere special. Now, with the 3D Virtual Tour, this intention can still be met and felt without having to set foot in the building!

The Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building

One of the donors, Cheryl McEwen, explained her hope for this facility’s use: 

“We hope that this building will be the hub of Canada’s future business leaders, to enable Canada to reach its full potential.” 

With the 3D Virtual tour, YorkU can now reach those future business leaders, attracting them to this space where they can gather, collaborate, and share ideas. 

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence

This building holds a special place in our hearts. In 2016 Odyssey3D joined the BEST Lab, an incubator at York University’s  Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence for tech startups. Since then, it’s always been our dream to capture this building in Virtual Reality.

Odyssey3D in collaberation with BEST York University

“It’s been wonderful for me to use Odyssey3D to provide a virtual experience of The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, our home, at York University. – says Professor Andrew Maxwell, the Bergeron Chair in Technology Entrepreneurship at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering.

“This award winning building creates a unique and inspiring space for students to gather, meet, work and have amazing experiences, and can only come to life when you visit it. Given current situations, visiting has been impossible. The next best thing has been the virtual reality experience created by Odyssey3D.”

You can hear more about Prof. Maxwell’s experience on this project in the video below.

How does a Digital Campus help during the Pandemic?

Existing and prospective York University students can now walk-through these facilities from anywhere in the world, 24/7. The University can attract and receive funding from more incoming students and donors. It stands out as a digitally advanced school that supports innovation and entrepreneurship! 

From the safety and comfort of their own home, students can now easily plan a route to and from lectures. This is especially important for students and staff with disabilities. Accessibility from anywhere – now that’s the power behind 3D Virtual Tours!

A digital campus enhances the recruitment process, especially in the case of attracting international and exchange students.

 

The really cool part is that, not only will it aid in these uncertain times, but it will continue to serve beyond that! In post pandemic times, the University/College will continue to reap the benefits.

Key Benefits for all industries

Alumni Relations & Development – Showcasing impact of donors’ contribution and displaying opportunities for future sponsorship.

Administration – Showcasing facilities to attract prospective Undergraduate, Masters and PhD students. 

Maintenance & Insurance – Saving money on work orders and keeping a digital representation of the current state and equipment.

International Relations & Accessibility – for both Universities/Colleges, but the same can be applied to other businesses too. Giving future employees and clients the chance to see if the office is the right fit for them.

Whatever business you’re in, you can reap the benefits of a 3D Virtual Tour. We believe all businesses can achieve the same result and that is a peace of mind. A peace of mind, knowing that you can still run your business and keep up with any restrictions that could come up.

It’s time to Innovate

With fall right around the corner, other Universities, like the University of Toronto, have been reaching out, looking to make the same innovative decision that York University did. 

It’s important to explore every accessibility tool that’s available to you. We’re passionate and ready to help anyone on the journey to digitize their campus or business. But, don’t just take our word for it. 

“If you’re looking to give people an advanced view of your facilities and your university. I strongly recommend that you look at how Odyssey3D can make the virtual [tour] come to life” says Prof. Maxwell.

We couldn’t be happier with the work we’ve done for York University and we’re excited to see it go further. We’ve had the opportunity to produce digital twins for other reputable brands such as, Marriott, Hampton Inn, MARS, Oxford Properties, Mattamy Homes, ‘Love It or List It”, De Havilland Aircraft, Daniels Gateway, Chopped Leaf, Skip The Dishes, Hopper, Conservatory Group, Oxford Retirement Living, Power Plant Art Gallery and many more!

Odyssey3D is beyond grateful for these projects and the incredible relationships that have been developed. There’s nothing we want more than to see everyone succeed as a community, and to keep our community safe. Together, we all helped each other’s business thrive in such pressing times.