Honiton becomes Google's first ever ' virtual high street'

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 January 2016

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Vector7 has created the website which offers an interactive journey through Honiton - from the comfort of your desktop.

A Honiton-based web marketing company has launched an initiative to ‘breathe new life’ into the town – by making it Google’s first-ever ‘virtual high street’.

High Street company Vector7, run by directors John Vincent and Julia Gardner, is seeking ‘innovative solutions’ to boost Honiton’s high street profile and encourage people to visit.

The couple is at the forefront of a new virtual website offering an interactive journey through Honiton. Users are able to walk around the inside of dentists, car showrooms, hairdressers, various cafés and restaurants and even the classrooms at Honiton Community College - all from the comfort of their desktop.

Mr Vincent said: “Technology plays a vital role in people’s everyday lives and has the ability to influence our shopping habits and movements.

“By developing innovations to regenerate the retail sector, Vector7 is helping to breathe new life into our local high street.

“Our thinking is that by focusing on the reality of the town and the buildings, albeit virtually, we can keep it real for people when they are thinking of shopping or heading out for anything from a meal to a haircut.

“For the showrooms, it can help inspire people to make it real and head into the town.

“Giving shoppers the chance to explore business premises through interactive, 360° virtual tours means that they can use this technology to their advantage, making a real difference in helping to boost Honiton town’s economy.”

The idea has been praised by Colin Wright, chairman of Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce. He said: “I am so impressed with the website. The first town in the country to have such an exciting innovative idea, and it’s here in Honiton.

“The image quality is superb and it is a treat to sit at home and walk along High Street, browsing into shops and coffee bars - it really is hypnotic.

“Walk into the hardware store, look around and locate your required items and then you will know exactly where they are when you next visit the town to purchase your goods. It’s a win-win situation for residents and visitors.

“My grateful thanks to Vector7 for pioneering this idea and for choosing Honiton as its premier venture.”

The Google Street View 360° virtual tours have been donated to 80 per cent of businesses along Honiton’s high street, which updates their Google Maps listings, Google+ accounts and advanced mobile searches.

They are showcased on the virtual website, where users will be able to explore the insides of several shops and premises to get a first-hand look at them.

Visit www.seeinsidehoniton.co.uk to view Honiton virtually.

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