Is Flash the Future of 360 Projection?

by Shubby on August 28, 2011

All the panoramas both here and at are presented in Flash format for one reason: almost everybody has a Flash viewer on their computer.  There are several other formats which offer superior quality but they require plugins.  (Our favorite is the Spi-V viewer, which is based on Shockwave, a sibling of Flash.)  Many people are simply averse to installing software that they will barely use.  Almost every single panorama generator and virtual tour creation software now publishes to Flash – and many of them do not even offer an alternative format.

So while it looks like Flash is indeed the format of choice for 360° panorama projection, the rise in use of mobile devices presents a major problem: Flash will not work on iPhones (or iPads).  Is it not a bit skewed that Apple refuses to support Flash on these devices at the same time that they are backing away from QuickTimeVR, their own proprietary 3D rendering engine that was also one of the very first formats for presenting 360° panoramas?

Time will tell how all this eventually plays out, but because of Apple’s politics, panorama photographers have to publish each panorama or virtual tour twice.

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