Act Like the Locals with Lookaround, Your Ultimate VR Travel Guide
Have you ever tried to look for a bar at night in an unfamiliar city, but ended up at an awful and expensive place or even found nothing? Do you want to live like a local when traveling to a new place and experience a hip, exotic and authentic lifestyle? If the answer is yessss, then check out Lookaround, a unique mobile travel guide where locals will share their home city in every degree. VeeR has also invited the Lookaround crew to share the backstage sparks!
Nick, Ivan and Marc (Photo by Lookaround)
Our team members Nick, Ivan and Marc have known each other before building Lookaround. Because of their common passion about VR and its potential in travel, it was a no-brainer for them to start a VR company in the sector. With no prior experience in the space, we started discussing our concept with users and potential clients and we came to the conclusion to build what now Lookaround is – a next-generation mobile travel guide that uses VR content to the best experiences.
Best Bars of Barcelona (Photo by Lookaround)
We have a rather simple, yet difficult goal – to make exploring the city a fun and easy thing to do, hassle-free. And since the future of travel is mobile, we build an iPhone and Android application that achieves the goal with the power of VR. 360 videos are particularly useful and significantly better than regular videos when it comes to places and experiences that are new to the user. Therefore, VR has the greatest potential in travel, which we decided to tackle by focusing on travel activities.
We started with Berlin and Barcelona because they are visited by millennial travelers the most, which is the audience that is most passionate about VR. Also, we are pretty big fans of what these cities have to offer in terms of places and things to do. In particular, Berlin is full of history, while Barcelona has a lot of cultural heritage. Every day we find out new trendy local tours and attractions that we want to try ourselves there, then we feature them on Lookaround.
For our vlog section of the app, we work with local insiders like Catriona, Zoey and Anton, who love sharing their knowledge and tips about their city from their own perspective. Our co-founder Marc is also a local insider because of his genuine interest in vlogging.
Barcelona in one day (Photo by Lookaround)
We let our insiders explore the new trendy places and things to do for us and we let them share that with our audience. Take Anton for example. He is a rapper from Barcelona who really enjoys the night scene in the city and prefers to spend his time on rooftops gazing at the view. So what we do is give him a consumer 360° camera and then he shoots whatever he likes about stuff he actually loves. That’s why he did a video for Lookaround about the Best Terraces in Barcelona. So, this combination of 360° videos and user-generated content makes our suggestions for what to do not only inspiring or transparent but also honest.
Shooting 360 video is a totally different thing from shooting a regular video. We learnt that immediately. There are 2 main challenges involved with 360 videos. First, everything is within the field of view when shooting a 360 video, which means that even the camera man is part of the video. Second, a new form of narrative is required to make a 360 video compelling – we are still exploring the most optimal one for Lookaround.
Lookaround app illustration (Photo by Lookaround)
On the upside, the advantages of VR are endless. Compared to regular videos, it is more immersive, more inspiring, provides higher engagement among users. Because it is so new, there are so many opportunities that can be explored with this type of media content.
Best Cafes of Berlin (Photo by Lookaround)
Even though we started with some challenges, the positive feedback from our users is what keeps our company going. We love to see that Lookaround is making a change among travelers who genuinely want to explore new, trendy places and things to do.
There are many plans for Lookaround in the upcoming months where our users will be able to see live-streamed 360 videos of cool events that happen close to them. We are very excited what VR can bring in travel and are happy to explore new challenges and opportunities in the space every day.