Flicking through the pages of a brochure used to be the main way for gathering tips and ideas for your dream vacation. Then came along the internet, which has definitely helped to transform the way in which we book our holidays. However, technology could, once again, be responsible for another advancement within this scenario. Whilst many of us head over to Trip Advisor for ideas, you still don’t quite know if the place that many people say is awesome will actually be right for you.
With this said, virtual reality is a new technology which is ready for take-off, yes, pun intended. Whilst the main market is expected to be aimed towards gamers, that’s not to say it won’t have many other purposes, too. After all, it just seems like a no-brainer that virtual reality will have its place within the travel industry.
What is virtual reality technology?
You might be wondering what exactly this technology even is. Simply put, it involves wearing a headset. From here, your head movements mimic the reality of the world the game or content you’re viewing is showing. Your hand would control other movements, such as walking forwards or backwards. I’m sure you’ll agree, the potential is quite huge, especially for travel.
How might it work?
How would it work exactly? Well, you’d ideally be able to explore the location of your choice, walking around as you might outside of this virtual world. Imagine it is as the Google Earth version, expect you’d be able to take it to the next level. However, a more detailed edition of real-world locations such as major cities is probably how things are expected to begin. London, Paris and New York are just three cities which come to mind. It seems to make sense that such big cities would be able to somehow gather the funding required for this upcoming possibility.
Sightseeing is likely to become the foundation from where travel VR can grow, take for example locations such as Buckingham Palace or the White House. Mapping out entire cities in full detail might be possible in the near future, but VR will take full advantage of enabling users the ability to visit key locations and resorts.
After all, it’s likely to have a positive impact on those who might be undecided on whether to visit, or perhaps in which area of the city to book the holiday. To expand on this, which areas might you want to tour or visit? This could all be considered within the VR experience.
Imagine having the ability to walk around the town, city or location. Your opinion is sure to be different than it otherwise might have been by looking at a photo or video. The experience would be as close to reality as currently imaginable – how amazing is that? In fact, it would surely seem rather naive to think that travel and VR not to connect together, somehow.
If not to inspire the potential traveller, the technology could definitely promote an experience which would otherwise not be possible from your average media right now. Of course, virtual reality does have its limitations – but it’s sure to deliver the ultimate alternative.
Space travel might seem like a distant dream for the majority, but it’s probably VR which will give many of us the first-person glimpse into what space travel is actually like.
In the coming years, don’t be surprised to see a number of VR headsets when visiting your travel agent. Although, the more tech savvy person will probably already be able to access the technology from the comfort of their own home.
The Possible negative aspects of VR Travel
Some might worry that many would begin to use this technology as an actual alternative to going on holiday. Could VR really replace the average vacation? This is definitely a good question to ask too, as crazy as it may seem, after all, take one look at social media – the way in which many of us socialise has definitely started to change, and not all for the good. However, a VR experience is unlikely to be realistic enough to counter that of the real thing, this is, of course, because laying on a beach or getting a little tipsy from a night out in Ibiza can never seemingly be replaced by technology. Sightseeing is probably going to be the main focus for VR initially.
It’s hard not to feel excited about virtual reality and how it might integrate with the travel industry. With that said, would you be willing to trade a brochure for a headset in order to view the city you were planning to visit in the best possible way? Is a click to Trip Advisor already feeling a little old-school? Be sure to leave your views in the comments below.