The history of virtual walks goes back to 1994.
The first example was a museum visitor’s tour of a 3D reconstruction of Dudley Castle in England as it was in 1550.
One of the first users of a virtual tour was Queen Elizabeth II, when she officially opened the visitor centre in 1994.
Virtual walking takes the viewer to these locations using a camera and a set of microphones to capture sound as you walk.
The camera is then often placed on a gimbal to stabilize and smooth out any bumps during walking.
The type of camera and gimbal can differ per creator.
It is important to choose the right camera equipment that suits the style and needs of the creator.
A few things to consider are weight distribution, weathering capability, and video performance.
Technology has finally come to the point where it is affordable to buy the necessary accessories for creating virtual walks.
Most if not all creators also have experience with video editing techniques.
Here it is possible to further soften the gait, add color gradations and complete the overall look and feel.
Audio should not be forgotten as it will really immerse the viewer in the world of virtual walking.
If the sound is of sufficient quality, it is often also used as a soothing background or ASMR content for people trying to fall asleep or calm down.
One of the best ways to view virtual walking is when the audio is recorded binaural, a method that uses 2 microphones,
with the intention of creating 3D stereo sound so that the listener is actually in the place itself.
Virtual walks can also be used while exercising indoors, for example while running a stationary bike or treadmill.
Instead of staring at a wall, you can also view virtual walks on your connected devices.
Some instruments even let you sync with the walk, meaning it will manipulate playback to respond to your speed,
even pausing when you’re no longer exercising.
Virtual tours are also very popular in the real estate industry.
The smooth walking creates a nice cinematic feel-good effect when looking at the interior of a house.
Historic preservation is another great way to use virtual walks.
Preservation of historic properties at risk of demolition or restricted public access.