Tours and more with Gala360
Available for Daydream and GearVR, Gala360 gives a nice approach to 360 degrees photos. In fact it would be an understatement to call it that. Gala360 is a virtual tours platform where creators can build stories and educational tours. It’s a new approach compared to Google Expeditions that requires a tutor to control a synchronous group, this one provides the solo experience that makes the user travel and discover.
Oculus 360 Photos or Gala360?
Where Oculus 360 Photos is a great source of diversified content, pictures offers no link or continuity with each other. On Gala360, you get a series of photos covering the same subject or location. Gala360 offers tours adding texts to 360 photos. It felt the character limit may have affected some of the content. I would have definitely taken a lot more information. A fade in pop-ups over the different important elements of the scenes would be welcomed.
Audio is also supported, currently the few creators that are using it are using sounds of the surrounding, adding extra immersion. One of the few set of picture to use this feature, added an audio guide to a tour. It’s something between a video and the still photos. I found 360 photos a bit more appealing because they gives me more time to look around. I like videos for sports where action is somewhat directed in a 180 degree field. So the mix of audio and photo seems the perfect compromise.Supporting single audio file that plays over the tours, or slide by slide audio for better directions. It already offers more features than the alternative Oculus 360 Photos.
Content is still a little short, but for a platform that just released, it already offers a few dozen tours to take. Divided in categories or locations, the content is definitely one of the best I’ve seen. I’d love to be able to follow creators because some content is just off the roof. Even the content of lesser quality, the creator focused on close objects like the Lego Star Wars recreation. Even when people are in motion, you will see someone blurred just in a in a few case, depending on the creator, again. There’s also a My Photo folder where your 360 photos can be seen. I have yet to find the way to add a description to my photos.
We tested both the GearVR and Daydream version. Both works the same and the Daydream remote is only used like the GearVR touchpad: Swipe to change picture or gaze and click on the on-screen menus. This app makes me want to take “just one more tour”. It is still early in it’s life, but having a growing library of content and a steady feature introduction can make this app part of the VR ecosystem. Perfecting the creators tool and promoting good content creators is the key for their future success.