Exciting stories of extended reality in travel
XR has the power to transform travel experiences like never before. In the last couple of years, we’ve begun to see some examples of what the right technology can do from leading hotel, transportation, and tourism companies. From virtual travel experiences intended for those who can’t leave their home, to unique customer service experiences, the options are endless.
XR solutions can allow customers to explore a destination or see a hotel before they ever visit the space in-person. The same offerings can make the actual travel experience more engaging, by immersing customers in a unique experience while they’re sitting in their seat.
Today, we’re going to be looking at just some of the most amazing XR travel case studies from the last few years, to give you an insight into what travel brands can accomplish.
Varjo and Arksen
Emerging British marine adventure company, Arksen, worked with the leaders in the XR landscape, Varjo, on the creation of an immersive new experience for their travel brand. The solution involved creating a 3D, configurable version of the incredible Arksen 85 yacht, powered by Unity.
The new virtual reality experience makes it easier to market the adventure experience to potential consumers, by giving them an insight into what it’s going to be like onboard. With the Varjo Aero headset, people can explore the yacht in high fidelity, and interact with a range of unique features.
The solution provides consumers with a more in-depth insight into the overall travel experience, to help them make more intelligent decisions about where they want to spend their money and time on their next travel adventure.
Visualise and Lumo
Committed to creating the next generation of immersive content experiences for brands, Visualise is helping countless companies to bring unique interactions to users. The Lumo company, a new train service running on the East Coast of the UK, took advantage of Lumo’s technology to grab the attention of their target audience.
The train company wanted to add something different to their launch experience, so they worked alongside Visualise to build a 360-degreer immersive film, intended to give people a full view of what it feels like to be on one of these trains.
Footage for the marketing experience was shot using Meta 360 video camera systems, and is designed to make users feel as though they’re sitting in one of the seats inside the train.
Microsoft and Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe
Leipzig currently stands as one of Germany’s fastest-growing cities. The developing landscape has had a significant impact on the city’s transportation infrastructure, leading public transport, and travel teams to reconsider how they can deliver the best possible experience to end users.
The Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe company decided to work with Microsoft to build an engaging way for travellers to plan their transportation experience. Using a combination of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft HoloLens, the company built an application which allows users to plan out the ideal route from getting to wherever they need to go.
The solution doesn’t just support end-users; it’s also a powerful tool for the transportation teams who need to become more efficient in taking people around the city.
Meta and Hilton
Hilton is one of the world’s largest travel and hospitality companies, boasting more than 6,000 properties located across 117 countries and territories. Hilton relies heavily on forward-thinking technology to maintain its position as a market leader. The company has embraced all kinds of XR technology in the past, to help give users an insight into what it’s like to stay in one of their hotels.
Working with Meta and the SweetRush development company, Hilton recently created VR scenarios for Hilton to help with a range of use cases. The tools included VR apps built for Oculus headsets which help to train team members to deal with complex guest situations.
According to Hilton, providing experiences which helped to develop empathy in their team members meant the staff could be better equipped to manage guest expectations.
World XR Forum and Crans-Montana
Designed to respond to the rising demand for immersive travel experiences during the pandemic, the Crans-Montana virtual travel lounge was built by SOMNIACS and the World XR Forum during 2020. Through a fully immersive simulator (Birdly), the companies were able to bridge the gap between unreachable places and would-be travellers.
The virtual travel lounge was placed in the middle of a modern gallery in the Crans-Montana business distract. Guests were invited to take part in fifteen minutes of virtual travel which they could book in advance, complete with a location and soundtrack of their choice.
The experience provided a unique way for people to travel without having to actually leave their homes during a difficult period for worldwide transportation.
Qualcomm, Skylights and Alaska Airlines
Leading technology company, Qualcomm, is working alongside XR inflight specialists Skylights to deliver an immersive content viewing experience for in-flight entertainment. The solution delivers superior value to passengers, by allowing them to enjoy a more immersive in-flight experience.
Premium cabin passengers are equipped with Allosky XR headsets powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Mobile platform. This platform is engineered to deliver the power and performance required for in-flight entertainment, with enhanced security.
Users get access to a full 1080p per eye resolution to make them feel as though they’re actually standing in a different location when relaxing in their seats.
Huspi and the Chornobyl App
Huspi, working alongside Unity, Node, React, and MongoDB technologies, created a mobile augmented reality app designed to tell the true story behind the Chornobyl Catastrophe. The repercussions of this catastrophe are still felt throughout the world today, and the story has captured the attention of people across the globe.
The AR application is aimed to provide users with an opportunity to visit the area from the safety of their own home, and experience what it’s really like, using augmented reality. This offers an excellent example of how XR in travel can provide travellers with access to environments they might not be able to visit safely in the real world.