BOOKING HOLIDAYS IN VR?
YOU MIGHT SOON BE ABLE TO BOOK HOLIDAYS IN VIRTUAL REALITY
Wander through your chosen location, search for flights, pick your seat, give a few rental cars a try and purchase your trip, all in VR.
Imagine if you could get a sneak peek of your next holiday destination before you arrived. No, looking at photos online and scrolling through Instagram doesn't count. Taking the concept of trying before you buy to the travel industry, a company called Navitaire has unveiled what they're calling "the world's first virtual reality travel search and booking experience".
Their VR system places would-be jetsetters in a room with a globe, lets them spin away, pick a place somewhere on the planet and then dive right in. After wandering through their chosen location in a virtual sense — spying tourist attractions and seeing the general sights — users can then search for flights, walk through the plane to pick their seat, give a few rental cars a try and purchase their trip, all within the virtual reality realm.
Down the track, Navitaire, which is owned by travel technology company Amadeus, hopes that touring and booking hotels, and sharing searching experiences via social media, will also be able to be incorporated into their VR platform. At the moment the project is still in development, with a patent pending. Plenty of other places have combined virtual reality with scoping out ace spots — Qantas has an app that lets you take a virtual tour of Australia, and the Sydney Opera House has their own that peers behind the scenes at the iconic venue — but doing all of that and then locking in a trip straight away might be the future.