Do These 6 Easy Steps to Level UpYour Real Estate Virtual Tours

Do These 6 Easy Steps to Level UpYour Real Estate Virtual Tours

There may be property buyers who are residing away from your location. If you are in the UAE and your buyer is in Hawaii, it’s convenient for you to use the virtual reality medium. The real estate industry has started to get into the tech-savvy market of today’s generation. Real estate agents are now into virtual tours and live-streaming. This enables prospective buyers to check the properties without traveling to the location. The virtual reality technology has become so popular that most buyers prefer to deal with a real estate agent who has a virtual tour on his site. The thing about virtual tours is that you may commit some errors in producing and using it that may cause problems in the whole property selling process. This is why it is necessary to follow certain rules of thumb and some tips to make sure that the virtual tours will be able to serve their purpose.

  1. You need to Prep all the Equipment and Props

Before you take the first shoot, make sure that the equipment is ready. Check the batteries of the camera as well as the SD card. Make sure that the settings are well adjusted and that all the props are set. You have to do a test shot first.

2. Choose the Right Time to Shoot

The element to consider when choosing the time to shoot is the lighting. You need to shoot with sufficient natural light which rules out night time. It is not good to shoot during lunch time too. In the morning and during noontime, the white light can be harsh that the images may appear blown out. The perfect time to shoot is sunrise or sundown.

3. Lighting is Key

It is important for lighting to be uniform all throughout the shoot. It has to be consistent in every room of the property. When the light is inconsistent it may affect the viewer’s immersion into it. You may turn on the lights and lamps but be mindful of their type of lighting too.

4. Shoot from the Outside Towards the Inside of the House

Always include the facade of the property in the virtual tour. This will give the buyers the feeling of getting into the property and seeing it from afar. You may also show the neighborhood and even the significant features and landmarks of the town. When the property has a beautiful garden at the back it’s good to include it in the virtual tour.

5. You have to Stage the Property

You can start it by doing a thorough cleanup of the property. You may hire professional cleaners to do the job. You need to keep all the knick-knacks and exposed cables to keep the place tidy. You can then start to stage each room by placing furniture and objects that can give life to the room but don’t overdo it. Overdecorating can shift the focus of the buyers from the house to the objects inside it. If you want some more tips on how to do an effective home-staging, read this article: 6 Effective Ways to Do Home Staging.

6. You Have to Make Sure the Virtual tour is Optimized for the Mobile Devices

It is crucial for virtual tours to be easily optimized for different electronic gadgets. It needs to have a fast loading time when the video is watched on any gadget. You must not compromise the resolution as well. It is recommended that you talk to the web hosting service to make sure that potential buyers will have a smooth VR experience.

Make your own virtual real estate tour today. Sign up for a FREE Account!

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3 Top-Performing 360° Cameras With Great Staying Power

3 Top-Performing 360° Cameras With Great Staying Power

It’s difficult to capture a 360° photo or video if you don’t have the best performing 360° cameras to use. You’ll be craning your neck just to satisfy yourself that you’re able to capture your immediate surroundings. Given the high value of this type of photo and video for business, purchasing a 360° camera is almost inevitable for any business enterprise that likes to be ahead of the pack when it comes to advertising and marketing, more particularly for the real estate and hospitality industry.

There are two types of 360° images that can be produced by 360° cameras. You can produce 360° stills which allow you to have wide-angle shots and panoramas. You can also create 360° videos in this camera. This type of video allows viewers to choose the parts that they want to focus more. 360° photos and videos can be viewed on your mobile phone and sites. They can be shared easily through Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube. Tools like Virtual Tour Easy makes your 360° images more useful as it can turn these images into a virtual tour that will serve as a high-end tool for promoting one’s real estate properties to potential buyers. Virtual tours can also be used in various other industries.

Now that you know the value of 360° cameras, it’s important that you become aware of all the top performing ones in the market. Here are our toughest choices:

Ricoh Theta V 360° Cameras

Price: $394 to $397

Pros: This 360° camera is for a classy lifestyle. It has an exquisite design but only requires a few buttons to operate. It’s tall and slim and can be held perfectly in one hand without compromising the quality of the lenses.

It does not require a lot of steps to use. All it takes is for the user to set the Theta V to stills or video mode and to click on the shutter release button and start shooting. It comes with a smartphone app which is equally simple in its operations.

This camera has a fixed 19G memory. Its app version has basic yet efficient VR options. A Theta+ app may also be used for editing images.

Cons: The downside to this camera is that it is not meant for action-packed coverage. Some users also complain about a purple fringing between the hemispheres on the area where the images blend. It also does not have an optical image stabilization and its storage capacity at 19GB is relatively smaller.

Insta360° One 360° Cameras

Price: Between $260 to $290

Pros: The Insta360° One is not merely an iPhone accessory. Insta360° has made a ONE camera which can be used as a standalone device. This allows the user to take pictures and videos without it being attached to a phone. It means that this can also be used in an android. The camera has its own battery which is rechargeable through micro-USB. MicroSD cards on the other hand are used for storage. It is known for its superb image quality and editing tools.

Cons: For users who use the app version, the editing tools found in the app are limited compared to those found in the actual camera. It is also known to have massive file sizes which may not be useful for some users.

GoPro Fusion 360° Cameras

Price: Between $599 to $648

Pros: Compared to the other action 360° cameras, the GoPro Fusion is slimmer. It is also waterproof up to 5 meters deep. This camera has a feature called OverCapture which allows the extraction of a full HD movie from the spherical images. QuickCapture on the other hand enables a single button to press to start recording even if the camera is turned off. It has an equivalent Photo button for images. A voice command can be used to start and stop the recordings.

Cons: Saving the files can be cumbersome with GoPro Fusion since it requires two matched microSD cards for files to be transferred to a computer. The OverCapture feature on the other hand lacks keyframe support. GoPro Fusion images are also not that sharp, and its Fusion Studio found on the desktop appears to be unfinished.

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Real Estate Home Staging: The Art of Preparing a Home

Real Estate Home Staging: The Art of Preparing a Home

Many people ask what home staging is. Home staging in itself is an artform that enables your house to look bigger, cleaner, brighter, warmer, and more comfortable. The best thing of all is that home staging will make buyers want to buy your home.

There are professional home stagers, and they are professional artists. They have the skills of a top-performing designer and also a backdrop on theatrical aesthetics that involves the five human senses. However, before you get into coordinating several rooms, here are some tips on doing the initial steps in home staging:

Dealing with Clutter and Color Designs for Home Staging

First things first. You have to arrange all the scattered furniture into some sort of appealing order. This is known as a vignette. You may also need to showcase some soft fabrics like silk, satin, and lamb’s wool. You can also display unusual knick-knacks in a sequence of 1,3, and 5. Window casings can be draped with simple lines to make it attractive. It’s better if you can add some distinctive elements to the bookcases, shelving, and fireplace mantels. This will draw more attention to those areas that are pre-arranged.

Colors can be used to express creativity. You can use it for pillows, on unique art pieces, and other decors. A shot of colors can be a huge help in making your home more artistic. You must also abide by the minimalist principle. Don’t clutter your furniture by having too many pieces of them. Consider arranging the core pieces in a different way and you will see a huge difference.

There are professional home stagers that you can hire to ensure that your home will be sold fast. When you look for these professionals, it’s like looking for any other service provider. You have to ask around for referrals. You may start with a real estate agent that you trust. There are many real estate agencies that have a list of professional home stagers. These companies have been pre-screened by real estate agencies.

The Price of Home Staging Service

When you are able to talk to a home stager, you can ask for some estimates. This service is free. It is only an estimate, but when the actual cost and the expense are too different, you better check on that immediately. You can also do your own calculations. Be mindful that home staging professionals may have varying ways of rating theirs services. There are those who charge for an hourly rate and others will set a fixed rate. You can ask them how they calculate their rates, so you have an intelligent decision. You also have to consider the condition of your own home, the average length of time homes get sold in the market, and also the asking price of your own.

The asking price will have a huge influence on the amount that you can pay for the home staging services. There are those who bring in rented furnishings which can increase the rate tremendously. That’s why you have to be smart to know what the home stager is planning to bring in and what the cost is.

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3 Most Important Steps on How to Shoot Pictures of Interiors with a 360° Camera

3 Most Important Steps on How to Shoot Pictures of Interiors with a 360° Camera

The 360° camera does not require rocket science for operation. It’s easy to use. For you to come up with the superb pictures of real estate interiors using the 360° camera, make sure you know the tricks of the trade. Here are some of the most important ones you should not forget:

1. Get the Equipment You Need Like 360° Camera

The first step is to use a high-quality 360° camera. The top performing ones are the Ricoh Theta V, Insta One 360°, GoPro Fusion, and Nikon Key Mission. Compare one another in terms of features and prices first and make sure that it suits your budget before you purchase any. There are rental 360° cameras as well if you are not sure about purchasing at the moment.

You need to use a tripod when taking the pictures. Using a tripod ensures that you can capture everything you want to be included in your virtual tour. This makes it super handy as well to do other tasks when capturing images. You also have to make sure that you pick the right height for the tripod so that the person taking the picture will be part of the photo and not just a quarter of his face. When you take a 360° photo it requires you not to move. Remember that your viewers will want to look around the interior you are covering.

2. Clean the room

It is important to clean the room, make sure that there is sufficient lighting, and that the curtains are open. Set your 360° camera and tripod, considering the best angle and lighting. For the tripod, the height is ideally at 1.20 to 1.50. You need to place the camera with the tripod in the middle of the room. If you don’t want to appear in the video, go to an adjacent room while the shooting is going on. You can start taking the pictures using the 360° camera. Most of these cameras have remote control and can be connected by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If your camera doesn’t have this feature, you can set the timer instead. You need to check the picture if you are satisfied with it. If not you need to make changes to the physical setting or the camera’s settings. Repeat the same steps for every room.

3. Don't forget to take shots of some parts.

It is highly recommended that you take a photo of the entrance to the property starting from the front door. It is also smart to take the exterior area of the property from the inside. This can be done by placing the 360° camera on the tripod in the terrace, garden, or the balcony. Once you have all the pictures and you are satisfied with their quality, you may then transfer them to your phone, desktop, or laptop. For you to make the most of your amazing 360° pictures, produce a virtual tour out of them. Check the site virtualtoureasy.com for you to turn your excellent 360° photos into high quality virtual tours in only 5 minutes.

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5 Reasons Why 360 Virtual Tours are Great Opportunity for Photographers [You Should Try it Too!]

5 Reasons Why 360 Virtual Tours are Great Opportunity for Photographers [You Should Try it Too!]

360 virtual tours present multiple opportunities for photographers whether freelance or not. There are many reasons for this. On the business side, companies are starting to invest in virtual reality and 360° virtual tours for their promotion and marketing. According to statistics, 360° virtual tours can help double the number of people interested in the business listings. This helps to market the business to more people and it can help to create a buzz in the social media sites.

The following are more valid reasons for photographers to invest in skills and equipment for them to come up with amazing virtual tours:

1. High Potential for Business

360° virtual tours are just in its beginning years; it has a long way to go in terms of use, functionality, and features. It offers the greatest advantage and convenience of being able to visualize any physical space straight from your own desktop or mobile phone. It enables you to be immersed in that actual space virtually.

2. High Number of Potential Clients

360° virtual tours can be used all throughout various industries and different professionals for as long as they have space to occupy. Some of these industries are the following: property developers, real estate brokers, interior designers, restaurateurs, homeowners, and those from the hospitality industry.

3. Allows You to Upsell and Come Up with a Different Service

You can add 360° photos to your current suite of photography services. This enables you to upsell your services to your current customers since 360° photos will allow your customers to have a more interactive and immersive experience with the properties they intend to purchase. It can also set you off from your competitors.

4. Easy to Start 360° Virtual Tour

It’s easy to start the 360° virtual tour service by signing up for a 360° virtual tour creator. All you have to do is buy a 360° camera with only a minimal expense. It’s not difficult to learn using the camera as well. It does not entail a learning curve on your end as the photographer.

5. Provides Powerful Solutions

The use of 360° virtual tours come encumbered with a lot of powerful solutions. Google Street View offers the potential for photographers to produce public tours. The VirtualTourEasy.com allows you to create a virtual tour in just five minutes which can be customized and shared on social media to reach potential clients. It also offers a high level of flexibility compared to other existing solutions. You are also guaranteed of excellent results all the time.

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How Does a 360° Virtual Tour Allow You to Improve Your Sales?

How Does a 360° Virtual Tour Allow You to Improve Your Sales?

The 360 Virtual Tour is a way to show 360 panoramas of a group of varying small spaces. For example, you are going to take pictures of the different rooms of the hotel and you have to present them as a subject which is in 360 degrees. The way to combine all the 360 panoramas together and make the viewers feel like being there in person. That is through what is called the 360 virtual tour.

Virtual tours are used across varying industries as a promotional tool. It is known to be quite an effective one. It is also a valuable tool for increasing sales for several reasons. Here are the best reasons why virtual tours are considered as an excellent tool for increasing sales.

It is an effective marketing tool.

The virtual tour gives you a more realistic preview of the real estate property. The virtual tour is also more immersive and interactive. It almost means being in the real space itself. It is through the 360° virtual tour that you can have a virtual visit to the property you like. Through this type of tour, you can have a better understanding of all the layouts. This makes it a powerful means to promote real estate and increase sales.

It gives you the competitive advantage over your business rivals.

The 360° virtual tour gives you an edge when negotiating with potential clients. This will give you exclusivity when your competitors have not thought of using the 360° tour as a tool for promotion. It is also a cool and more modern way of promoting the real estate property. Even the young professionals who like to have their initial investments will be able to appreciate the 360° virtual tour.

It is time-saving.

Through 360° virtual tours, you can allow your clients to visit the real estate through virtual means. This means no unnecessary visits to the site which adds more to the cost. It also means you have more time to use in doing the more significant aspects of business.

It is not difficult to use, and it doesn’t have a high learning curve.

Producing a 360° virtual tour does not entail enrolling in a crash course or a learning curve that can last for weeks or months. All you have to do is to have a 360° camera, a tripod, and choose to have a virtual tour solution. You can simply follow some guides that can be easy to follow and try to shoot real estate properties using the 360° camera. There are techniques and tricks that you can learn in s short time. You along with your partners or collaborators can become expert in the creation of such material in just a short time.

It is budget-friendly.

It doesn’t require to hire a production team to come up with a 360° virtual tour. You can have one for only USD $100 while the more popular ones may cost from USD$400 to $600. A tripod can only cost around USD$20. You can also have a year’s subscription of a pro plan for a service like the VirtualTourEasy.com for only USD$400.

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6 Effective Ways to Do Home Staging

6 Effective Ways to Do Home Staging

Home staging is done when the homeowner decides to make some changes to the exterior and interior of his house for the purpose of reselling. The purpose of which is to entice as many potential buyers as possible, to position the home for it to be sold fast, and also to gain the highest possible price for the property.

Home staging is considered a strategy. There are times when homeowners are hesitant to change their homes due to emotional attachment. That’s why it is important to know the significance and value of home staging as a strategy for selling. It is essential to showing the best features of any home. This will enable the buyer to imagine himself living in the property.

The following are the 6 effective ways to stage your very own home:

1. Geography and pricing matter a lot when it comes to home staging

Is your home a starter home in the urban area or is it an expensive home in the countryside for an eloquent buyer? For the urban dweller, it’s better to highlight functionality and comfort and coming up with efficient storage methods. If it is a large country home of a prominent buyer, lifestyle is always at the forefront. It may also be necessary to include amenities for relaxation and entertainment. The staging here does not only involve the home itself but even the outdoor areas.

2. You also have to enhance the curb appeal of your home

It’s because this is the first thing that a potential buyer can see when he visits the property. This involves fixing the cracked sidewalk, take away the dead flowers, mow the lawn, update the house number, change the door, and look at the other elements such as neatness and landscaping. You have to store all the toys, yard equipment, and tools.

3. Repair the areas that are problematic

No buyer would like to buy a property that has problems. That’s why it’s wise if you walk through and around the property and look at the things that are not fixed. You have to check the lightbulbs too and replace those that don’t work anymore. If you think that you have become blind to your home’s repair areas, you can ask a friend or a relative to help you out.

4. You need to empty the room and organize the clutter

It is not helpful for home staging to congest the space with personal belongings and large-scale decorations. The trick is to include only what is essential. This will signify to the potential buyer how the entire space can be used efficiently.

5. It is important to clean your home thoroughly

This can be done by the homeowner, but some recommend the use of professional home staging services. The floor has to be shined, and the carpets shampooed, curtains cleaned, kitchen stop scrubbed, and that the bathroom is sparkly clean.

6. Make sure that you do changes to your home based on your budget

Small changes you can do in your home can make a major difference to making the home feel more comfortable and current.

Now that you're done staging your house, considering that you followed the steps I mentioned above, it's the time to market your property! Don't forget to set up a Virtual Tour for your property! Visit Virtual Tour Easy for more info.

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Top Benefits of 360° Virtual Tours on Your Business

Top Benefits of 360° Virtual Tours on Your Business

360̊ virtual tours do have a prime spot in any company’s marketing initiative. Why? Communication is key to every business regardless of the industry. This is especially true for 21st century companies. It’s beneficial for a company to have different methods of communication to potential customers. The presence of the Internet is something that makes things easier, but it also makes the competition much tighter.

For industries that require site visits for the customer to see first hand what they are buying, it is even more time-consuming and physically exhausting for the staff or personnel involved.

360° Virtual Tours, Virtual Tours

Who Benefits from 360° Virtual Tours?

One industry that can benefit a lot from virtual tours is real estate. The real estate agent or broker may now let the client visit the site of the property and get a feel of it without going there physically. All they have to do is wear a virtual reality mask and the client will exactly feel what it is like to be in the physical home.

For interior designers, a portfolio is so outdated and ineffective. Possible clients will become more interested when they can show their designs through a virtual tour. The potential client may also see the colors and patterns and feel the texture of the objects and items used in the design.

The same principle applies to the hotel industry. Through virtual tours, potential guests can see the exterior and interior designs of the hotel. They will be able to view every room and find out about the amenities provided by the hotel. This is helpful for constant travelers and for those who book for corporate events.

For physical shops, it’s easy for potential customers to view the products or services that are made available in those shops through 360° virtual tours. It is also possible to add a link to a video of a product or service demo on the virtual tour on the hotspot feature. You may also add a link to your site or add more information about your business.

State of the art 360° virtual tours can help different industries in increasing their number of customers. This is primarily because the tool can increase business interaction with potential customers. Of course, it is not like chat bots that personalize the interaction. Virtual tours on the other hand allow the potential client to do what they want to do with the property. They have the option to view more those areas of the property that they are more interested.

Other Implications in the Use of 360° Virtual Tours

Google conducted a survey on 147 restaurants and discovered that 50 percent of online visitors who were presented a virtual tour made a reservation. It is also easy to promote your virtual tour through various social media sites. Potential clients don’t have to go to Google View to look at your shop or property. Facebook for instance now accepts 360̊ photos. That’s not all there is to it. There’s a software that you can use to produce excellent 360° virtual tour you will need for your business. This is the Virtual Tour Easy. You can check it out through this link, you can create tour for free, you just need to upload your 360° pictures and hotspots. Have a look at https://virtualtoureasy.com.

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Why Should You Invest in a 360° Camera for Business

Why Should You Invest in a 360° Camera for Business

A 360° camera is an investment for any business and even for personal use. Its uses have gone beyond simply capturing emotions and moments. It has become a valuable tool for business promotion as well.

The new 360° camera is a small and portable type of camera but it can help you capture moments in time in a more immersive and interactive manner. Through this camera, people will experience how it is to fly a jet or dive underwater.

You can be as creative as possible with this type of camera.

It’s one great advantage that any photo from the 360° camera is easy to share to all your social media sites. You have several options Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and even your very own site. A great example of this is the Giroptic 360° camera which comes with a lightbulb adapter. This makes it extra useful as a security camera outdoors. You can buy one for only $79. All you have to do is to fit it into any light fixture. You can monitor the house even while you are on vacation or in an out of town trip.

The 360° camera can produce 360° photos that can be turned into a virtual tour of any of your properties (interior and exterior). This can be done with the use of a user-friendly online software which you can have for free: the Virtual Tool Easy. All you need to do is sign up, upload your 360° photos, and do some tweaks on the audio and text and voila you now have an interactive and highly immersive virtual tour of your property.

Owning a 360° camera can help you save costs.

This small camera can cover a large area. This means that there are less installations required for the camera to cover a wide area. It can easily cover rugged areas like garages, museums, street intersections which can help in making you aware of your surroundings. In businesses, apart from using these cameras for their security, they are also used to monitor the flow of customer traffic, supervise and manage the staff and their placement in the physical store, and to avert any attempt at theft, burglary, and any fraudulent act. If you are aware of the situation in your business such as the amount of people coming in and actually buying, you can increase or decrease your staff or products to improve the company sales.

They are user-friendly and not overwhelming like the DSLR.

It can be a headache to operate a DSLR camera and even a phone camera when you are not familiar with the apps and features. Majority of the 360° cameras are easy to set up and use. They don’t need you to read manuals or ask friends to operate it. Some of them only have one or two buttons to capture a wide area of coverage.

There is a great potential to using 360° cameras for business.

Facebook integrates already the 360° pictures, and numerous of solutions are created to enhance the potential of the 360° cameras. Among this solution, google street view now supports 360° pictures, and VirtualTourEasy.com aims to democratize the creation of 360° virtual tours for businesses with an easy to use virtual tour builder and easy integrations.

It without no doudt that the 360° cameras will continue to be more and more popular, and you what do you think?

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Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: Clearing the Blurry Lines

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: Clearing the Blurry Lines

When it comes to advanced technology, there are two types that have been vying for popularity: virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). This competition has caused confusion among its users.

Virtual Reality

It’s a recreation or a simulation of a real-life situation, condition, or environment. It’s computer-generated. It offers a great means for the user to immerse in a particular situation by going through the simulated situation firsthand. The technology does this by enhancing the user’s hearing and vision.

VR is usually done through wearing a headset which is integrated with the technology. It is prominently used in two ways. First it is used to enhance and recreate an imaginary reality for gaming, play, and entertainment purposes for instance in computer and video games or 3D movies. Virtual reality is also used to simulate a real-life environment and situation for the purposes of training such as flight simulation for pilots.

The coding language used for this technology is called VRML or virtual reality modeling language. This computer language is used primarily for creating a series of images and to specify the types of interactions that are possible using them.

Augmented Reality

On the other hand, augmented reality (AR) layers all the computer enhanced reality over a real-life situation which makes it more meaningful as the user is enabled to interact with it. This is the technology which is developed into apps and mobile devices for digital components to be integrated into real life, enhancing it and at the same time it can be set apart from it.

AR has a lot of mainstream media uses. This technology is behind the display score overlays on sports games and 3D emails that pop out. It’s also used in photos and text messages sent through mobile devices. AR is also used for holograms and motion-activated commands.

Differences between the Two

There are main differences between these two technologies apart from its uses and the manner in which each technology is used as described above. When it comes to consumer space, augmented reality has a bigger dent compared to virtual reality.

Augmented reality has several applications in video games and hardware, e.g., Google Glass. Virtual Reality is trailing behind AR in social encounters in the virtual world but it has found an edge with Oculus Rift.

Both technologies have a place in the consumer market, but AR is seen to be more commercially successful since it does not completely lift the user out of the real world. The truth about these two technologies is that they are often fused together for the user to have a higher quality of immersion into enhanced reality.

Virtual reality is defined by 6 Degrees of Freedom. This is the number of ways in which the user can move around and interact with the virtual surroundings. The 6 Degrees of Freedom can be categorized into two: rotational and translational movements. Rotational is composed of roll, yaw, and pitch while translational of left/right, upward/downward, and forward/backward.

Augmented reality is simpler. It does not remove you entirely from your reality. It enables you to look around while objects and other data are placed around you which you can interact with. This is the application used in the popular Pokemon Go and Snapchat Filters.

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