I've been thinking about these technologies and their application in tourism for a while, but last week's presentation made me even more curious.
So, for those of you with a little more experience in the field, I'd like to know what your thoughts are.
Do you think "spatial computing" as a whole will have more impact on the way we book, research, and explore travel? More than what's already been done with existing AR/VR platforms?
The Vision Pro is definitely a game-changer in the VR/AR world, bringing it a step closer to mass adoption, but its price, battery life, and that crazy eyes display 👁️ 👁️ make it not quite there yet.
Where I think it could impact the tourism industry is within:
- Skills training: Imagine the tourism industry using Vision Pro to train staff efficiently and consistently.
- Capturing a moment: This was something that, albeit quite strange to see, I could see myself finding useful. Instead of a group photo, it would be interesting to putting this on temporarily to capture a really great moment instead of a still photo.
- Virtual Tourism: Companies could create unique experiences for those with limited mobility or budgets. (Not really a substitute for actual tourism but cool in its own way)
- Marketing/Promotion: Immersive ads for tourism businesses, sneak peaks of locations, accomodations, adventure, etc.
- Enhanced on-site experiences: The refined AR could enrich visits to museums and landmarks. I think back to my trip to the Chichen Itza where my tour guide could hardly understand my questions, it would be interesting to have Vision Pro tells you cool facts as you simply look around and explore.
Though impressive, I don't believe the headset can replace the real experience of travel, feeling the environment, and connecting with others. I think the best use cases are in the marketing and training aspects of the industry.
You could argue it's a more sustainable way to explore the world, but ultimately thats a completely different experience from the real thing.
Virtual travel already thrived during the COVID era. This was on exploration channels like Google Arts and Culture, Google Earth, Roundme, Ocula, and Klapty. I think this is a step in the positive direction. Immersive tourism will thrive and it's going to create business opportunities for tourism curators.
I'm very excited about Apple's announcement because now we now have Facebook (Oculus), Microsoft (HoloLens) and Apple (Vision Pro) with serious consumer products for VR. Okay, Sony as well if you want to include theirs for Playstation.
Here's what will happen over the next few years:
1. People will use VR more for internal business meetings2. People will spend more time in immersive VR experiences
Take a look at Unreal Engine — developers can create some amazing worlds which are going to look INCREDIBLE on Apple's headset:
I can only imagine the kinds of amazing places we can visit with this kind of tech!
I believe that headsets like Apple VR are going to take us a step down the path to wearable VR that can be as simple as wearing a pair of glasses. However we're not there yet... perhaps another 5-10 years. But we're on that pathway!
I'd also recommend checking this discussion we had last year.
There are implications for VR and AR for the Travel Industry. I've been working to develop content for education, including many industries we're applying to VR, and the impact and results are staggering. We've created digital twins of properties, hotels, and short-term rentals so that customers can immerse themselves in the property before deciding to buy. We're modeling a service to house/host this content so that it can be called from an OTA or other shopping site so customers can gain access to it without the OTA's or travel company needing to make huge tech modifications to its tech stack.
🔥 I have been a user of VR technology since its early days. And although I must say it holds great promise, I believe it has failed to meet expectations. Even during the pandemic, its adoption was quite poor.
The main issue lies not in the medium or the device, but in the content. Currently, virtual travels are virtually non-existent, apart from some 360-degree photos, short walks in 360 cameras, or the use of Google Maps.
I believe the investment required to drive adoption should be massive, on par with immersing users in real experiences and adventures, similar to what video games offer. In this case, I must highlight Assassin's Creed as one of the best examples, as it serves as an encyclopedia showcasing history, documenting archaeological sites, and creating an adventure around them. There is nothing similar available for Apple's technology, and until such content is created, I fear VR will remain nothing more than expensive goggles, akin to what Google Glass was in its time. 💁♂️
I agree with you, computer games are actually a big competitor to virtual travel.