Through the use of 360 footage, the Virtual Tour app is designed to give perspective students a taste of campus life, including facilities, accommodation, health and wellbeing, as well as night life.
University of Surrey virtual tour experience
Client: University of Surrey
Virtual Tour app for iOS and Android
Diverse created an interactive CG map of the Surrey campus and surrounding areas to help demonstrate to students how close the university is to Guildford and London.
Virtual tours for Open Days
The virtual tour has been used during open days, to engage perspective students visiting the campus, giving them a unique and immersive experience of campus life.
An accessible virtual tour for overseas students, available on-site or remotely, reducing the need for travel and improving conversion for the University.
Our relationship with the prestigious University of Surrey was born from Diverse Interactive’s early days at the on-campus Technology Centre. This is a partnership that has flourished over the years, with both of us finding parallels in our early adoption of advanced technologies, and strong connections to the local community.
As a University attracting students from all over the world, it’s important that prospective graduates are able to visit the campus, its facilities and surrounding area not only physically, but virtually too. The convenience of a virtual visit reduces the need for travel, an approach that became indispensable throughout 2020, with travel restrictions affecting most parts of the world.
The concept was straightforward; a 360º virtual experience with a low barrier for entry that allowed the University to effectively market their offering. Taking a multi-channel approach to the project, it was decided that we would create a physical, in-person experience for Freshers’ Week and Student Fairs, and a version which could be accessed anywhere, by anyone.
Developing the solution
Two days of high-resolution content capture allowed us to create 360º images of key sites at the University such as accommodation, community spaces and surrounding areas. Our team used these images to create virtual spaces that users could explore in VR.
We were keen for the physical experience to be personable, rather than an isolated experience where the user is placed in goggles and left to their own devices. With a member of the University team able to drive the tour from an associated touch screen, they can talk the user through the tour, direct them through spaces and add a personal touch, making the solution a group experience. With accessibility in mind, we also enabled the touchscreen devices to host the virtual tour for those who don’t want to wear the Oculus Rift headset.
The virtual experience for overseas students utilises Google Cardboard, with cardboard goggles being customised with University branding, and shipped out with student prospectuses. Paying careful attention to detail and consistency, we were able to provide the same quality of experience whether the user was using the event hardware or were in their own space using the cardboard solution.
- 5000 + app downloads
- 4:55 second average session time
- 16.4 screens viewed per session
- 90% of users viewing 360° content first
- 80% of users viewing ‘accommodation’ first
- 100% app download conversion rate after being given the University of Surrey branded viewer.
Since the launch of this virtual experience, the University saw a 12% increase in student prospects selecting the University of Surrey as their first choice over other institutions. 92% of users who wanted to familiarise themselves with Guildford felt that this was achievable through the experience.
With a content refresh planned for 2021, the virtual tour experience provides a long-term solution with room to grow as the needs of the university evolve. This technology partnership has proved invaluable as we continue to market the university’s offering despite global challenges.Talk to us
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