Few had heard of anything resembling “The Internet” prior to 1994.  But as its popularity began to sweep across the U.S. it was only a short time before the public jumped on this bandwagon in mass, while organizations like the National Association of Realtors© quickly responded by publishing the Multiple Listing Service© online via this powerful marketing tool.   The ability to display property photos and descriptions on demand and to anyone who wanted them at any time of the day or night was beyond what anyone could have imagined before then. 

It didn’t take long for marketers to figure out that not only was the web good for delivering still photos, it had great potential for displaying moving pictures as well.  Shortly afterward, programmers began experimenting with new technologies and came up with the idea of providing a panoramic view of a scene, and instead of forcing a path of viewing as a typical motion picture, software would be utilized to provide a joystick for moving around and controlling the view as was desired.  Thus virtual reality was born. 

In 1995 the National Association of Realtors© started an online MLS© publication system, Realtor.com©. We couldn't let a good thing pass us by, so we joined as a member within weeks of the DFW availability announcement.

 Shortly after becoming a member of Realtor.com© we contacted and began working with the European IBM© Research Center testing IBM's© then experimental virtual reality Java application, HotMedia.  HotMedia  made the most sense as a virtual reality engine since most workstations have Java already installed as part of the operating system.  Java shines in many areas as a method of enabling virtual tours.  It requires a very small footprint and downloads very quickly.  Since Java is available on most of today's popular operating systems, users can browse a website and click on a virtual tour link while the application is downloaded transparently in the background without requiring any extra steps.  Using a Java application to display virtual tours means the user doesn't have to click on numerous links to download a “plug-in” as with other non-Java applications.

 Our first virtual tour was shot in 1996 on Kodak’s© initial digital camera offering and consisted of sixteen still shots that were electronically stitched together, which produced a very poor quality (yet expensive) rendering of a virtual tour.  Today we use top of the line Nikon Digital SLRs combined with super wide angle lenses to produce some of the highest quality virtual reality panoramas available.  Our state of the art software prepares online tours we proudly present via our web hosting facility, bringing views from any remote location directly inside your customer’s home.