Solution Number 2: HoloBuilder

I want students to be able to experience a 360° image directly from a webpage. That 360° image (photosphere) should at the very least be embedded into the page and preferably be easily opened in a VR manner such as using Google Cardboard and a smartphone.

Google Street View does not allow photospheres to be opened by external links. I have already reviewed Roundme. Here are my opinions about another interesting alternative - HoloBuilder.

HoloBuilder bills itself as ‘the best way to create and share your virtual reality content’. HoloBuilder seems to be more focused upon the real estate industry than Roundme is. This in many ways could give the product a better revenue stream and therefore longevity - a key consideration when a teacher is investing resource creation time in something.

Pros

  • The major advantage of Holobuilder is the built in web-based Google Cardboard capabilities - there is no need to launch a separate app. This seems to work much better on Android devices than it does on iOS - due to the frames of the browser not disappearing on iOS.
  • The free tier (Starter) would seem to give you all you would need as an educator to upload and host your own photospheres.
  • The ability to annotate photospheres, like Round.me’s ‘Hotspots’, is easy and richer via the web based editor.
  • You can create quite complex and rich tours of a location.

Cons

  • HoloBuilder’s approach seems to be less ‘geographical’ than Round.me’s - there isn’t  the link directly to a locational map. This locational map (found on Round.me) helps give the photospheres context.
  • The community around the photospheres is also less ‘geographical’ holobuilder.com/explore verus round.me/map.
  • There doesn't seem to be a link from the embedded photosphere back to the ‘creator’ therefore less ‘discoverability’ of other photospheres and projects.
  • It remains a shame to have to use a third-party solution rather than being able to stay within the Google ecosystem of Street View.