Do you ever wish you could transport yourself to Biola’s campus? Stand under the Bell Tower on a sunny day? Grab a quiet seat next to the Fluor Fountain? Look up into the iconic library beacon and read all the light-themed Scriptures?
Well, now you can — without ever leaving your living room.
Thanks to an innovative new virtual reality tour, anyone anywhere can now get an immersive experience of Biola’s campus using nothing more than a smartphone and an inexpensive virtual reality headset.
Developed by YouVisit, the tour takes people on a guided journey through campus, with stops at key buildings and landmarks. At 31 different spots along the way,viewers can use their headsets to get a completely panoramic view of their surroundings, including such locations as the Waugh Prayer Chapel, Chase Gymnasium, Talbot East’s rooftop garden or the lobby of Biola’s newest residence hall, Blackstone Hall.
“The VR headset can give you the sensation that you’re actually standing in these different locations on Biola’s campus,” said Brian Miller, senior director in Biola’s university communications and marketing office, who helped to lead the tour project.
“From Metzger Lawn, for example, you can look all around you at the library or Calvary Chapel, or up into the blue sky, or even down at the flowers at your feet. It’s really quite impressive.”
The tour was implemented primarily as a tool for reaching prospective students who may not be able to travel to campus (though it’s a fun option for nostalgic alumni, too).
Earlier this year, Biola mailed out cardboard virtual reality goggles to more than 3,000 prospective students who had expressed interest in the university. In addition to providing access to the tour, the customized red headsets will also be compatible with additional 360-degree video experiences that Biola plans to debut over the coming year.
To experience the tour yourself using a virtual reality headset (such as Google Cardboard), simply download the YouVisit VR app on your phone, and then visit biola.edu/vr. To experience a more basic version of the tour without a headset, visit youvisit.com/biola.