Video: TourWrist Founder and CEO Charles Armstrong. At 8:01, Critics Circle and response. At 11:36, four awards presented to TourWrist. At 14:16 Q&A with Travel Tech Consulting, Inc. President Norm Rose. At 19:21, General Catalyst Partner Managing Director Joel Cutler on TourWrist.
Good morning! Over the next 8 minutes, I’m going to show you how and why TourWrist has reinvented virtual tours.
[Pano 43696] This is Calgary 360; the official mobile app from Tourism Calgary, as powered by TourWrist. Note how beautiful this Hyatt hotel looks, especially when presented within our ultra–simple interface. There are no plug–ins to install or weird controls to learn. Just the immediate sense that you’re really there.
[Pano 41586] Now follow me as we visit The Venetian Las Vegas, from their own website, as powered by TourWrist. Notice the gorgeous floors and ceilings. Notice the silky smooth navigation. This is a confidence building experience that just works. It’s no wonder travelers are 67% more likely to book a hotel room when a virtual tour is offered.
[Pano 55384] And check out this exciting excursion from Royal Caribbean International, as shot by photographer 360iTours and powered by TourWrist. Today, we’re announcing that Royal Caribbean International has joined a growing list of TourWrist clients. Given that the average session jumps from 3 minutes to 20 minutes when a virtual tour is included, we’re excited to deliver Royal Caribbean a more accessible, believable and impressive marketing experience that affects their bottom line.
[Pano 55364] So why now? Why should you now care (or care again) about virtual tours? The answer, is that for the first time they’re suddenly relevant. Like any medium, virtual tours had to be understood by the masses before they made practical business sense. They also had to support a major business strategy, which they now accomplish in spades on mobile devices; they engage travelers on their own terms. According to Google, a whopping 47% of all travel plans now originate from smartphones.
2012 marks the virtual tour renaissance. Apple, Microsoft and now Google have announced smartphone–based pano photography tools. Supported by a publishing platform, these and other tools can allow anyone to create and post a virtual tour in less than a minute — which explains the growth we’re seeing. This is like cell phone–produced digital photos 12 years ago or smartphone–based video 6 years ago. Panos — especially on mobile devices — are the new visual marketing revolution. But reliably delivering virtual tours is not for the faint–hearted.
Which brings me to the point of TourWrist. You can think of us as the YouTube of virtual tours. Like YouTube, we offer both a global, agnostic publishing destination and a distributive infrastructure for third–party publishing. The latter is key. TourWrist is fueling a pivot point within the travel industry such that brands like yours can now easily add panoramic image capture and virtual tour viewers to websites and apps.
For consumers, all that matters is that dead photos now come to life. And these immersive and engaging virtual tours empower consumers to make more educated decisions much more quickly and confidently. Plus they’re just “cool!”
For travel brands, the greatest news is that our platform–agnostic tools fit perfectly into your existing technology and business ecosystems, so you can remain focused on what you do best. You can reuse any existing virtual tour you already have (including great VFM Leonardo tours, for example), you can empower travelers to create content for you, and you can even bring people inside CAD–rendered environments. We’ve been able to re–write the rules because we have the right team — one that specializes in computer vision, mobile apps, photographic technologies, and motion control.
[Live Android Demo] In addition to our Royal Caribbean news, as the second of four big announcements today, I’m proud to debut our new Android app which joins our existing iOS app. We’re really proud of its slick, new, community–centric interface.
Earlier this year, we were awarded Best of Show at Macworld. We then went on to win DEMOgod and People’s Choice awards at DEMO, plus a million dollars in advertising. Apple used our app in this year’s global media tour and has featured us over 600 times in the App Store — which may have had something to do with us reaching “#1 iPad Travel App” status in over 80 countries. But more importantly, we have a highly–regarded IP portfolio that includes 10 pending patents. Our own global platform is preparing to reach tens of millions of travelers in the next 6 months, and we already operate the world’s largest pro panoramic photographer community.
To summarize, the TourWrist platform consists of four parts…
- Licensable viewer and capture virtual tour technology — which is perfect for travel brands looking to leverage this powerful medium;
- A global network of pro pano photographers who can be engaged directly, should you prefer to commission virtual tours rather than create your own;
- A cloud-based, device–agnostic content delivery network (CDN) which makes your virtual tour publishing a breeze; and
- Our own consumer–facing apps and website which syndicate the same content.
For those of you interested in understanding our business model, in addition to SDK licensing revenue, we also earn standard affiliate commissions for bookings that originate from our app, website and sharing tools. We do not earn when bookings originate from your own websites or apps. It’s a win–win–win for your travelers, your brand, and TourWrist.
So here’s a little more information on our three licensing products…
We offer turn-key apps that are super quick and easy to roll out — perfect for those who don’t want to touch much (or any) code.
Our best–in–class viewer technology goes where no other has gone before: everywhere. Serve virtual tours via the mobile web, iOS and Android. Make changes on the fly, without having to wait for App Store approval. Even overlay interactive buttons that link together each pano within a virtual tour. Plus, you can link them directly to your booking engine. Our SDKs include a global license with no limits, for use in an unlimited number of apps and websites.
Then there’s our breakthrough capture technology — which marks the third big announcement I’m proud to share today. This is the first time we’ve publicly shown this technology. I’ll let you be the judge, but from where I’m standing this is the best pano photography solution in the world. It’s certainly the world’s first commercial, non–stop spherical photo tool. There’s no regimented process or grid to painstakingly fill in. Just pretend you’re shooting a video and we do all the hard work for you — or your travelers. It’s great!
And now the fourth big announcement… today we’re giving away over two million dollars in licensing, completely free. That’s 11 of our complete Viewer+Capture SDKs (valued at nearly $200,000 each), with no strings attached. No hidden fees. No bartering. Just award–winning, needle–moving technology. We’re extending this offer to travel destinations, hotel brands and vacation rental brands (11 total) as part of a campaign to capitalize on our momentum. To qualify, simply come visit us at the TourWrist kiosk within the Innovator and Exhibitor Showcase.
I hope that you will. Our innovative travel technology WILL help you increase bookings.
Thanks, and vote for TourWrist!
Virtual Tour: Hyatt Regency Pool/Fitness Area – hosted by TourWrist. Also viewable within Calgary 360 app powered by TourWrist.
Virtual Tour: The Venetian Las Vegas Penthouse Suite Pano – hosted by TourWrist. Pano by: Jeff Handley of Enviropix
- TNOOZ – TourWrist Brings Latest Funding Round to $1.25 Million; Heavyweights Liking the 360-Degree Views (12/3/12)
- PRWeb – TourWrist, a Thayer Ventures Portfolio Company, Sweeps the Awards at The Travel Innovation Summit @ The PhoCusWright Conference (12/3/12)