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Will the Oculus Quest change how we travel?

A discussion thread about VR and travel
Posted by Ian in Discussion , Oculus , Virtual
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Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

I'm a new owner of an Oculus Quest 2 headset (www.oculus.com/quest-2/) and my first impressions are this is terrifyingly good.

Currently on the Oculus platform there's not much "travel" content besides the usual 3D films you can find on YouTube VR. However where this device excels is in interactive content, and I think this is a huge opportunity for travel.

For example, an app called "Wander" provides a VR streetview experience (powered by Google) and you can explore any city and any number of famous sights.

After a few days of trying the Oculus Quest 2 out, here's a few thoughts:

1. For context, 10 million Oculus Quest 2's shipped by November 2021, so this is just the beginning of the market cycle. And since it's such a new platform, we don't even know what kinds of VR travel games or apps will "stick" in this new world.

2. Oculus Quest is easily accessible for people of all ages. We all know how to look around in the real world and interact with our 3D environment, and VR is no different.

3. VR travel doesn't have to "replicate" the real world so we can skip the annoying stuff (e.g. waiting in line, crowded places, etc) and go straight to the fun things.

4. VR travel might be short. For example, we might spend 15 minutes on a virtual beach in a hammock, listening to our favorite audio book.

5. Social VR travel will probably be a more rewarding experience than solo.

👉 Do you own an Oculus Quest 2? Let me know your thoughts below!

10 months ago (edited)
Podcast Manager, Audio Editor, Ted Cragg Travel Podcasting

This is a big question of mine too. As a tour guide I'm thinking of how I can put together virtual tours using the technology out there. Some videos would just go on regular YouTube, but I do also have an Oculus 2 (haven't explored it much yet) and am curious about how to create and publish content for it.

Does anyone know how to record for VR? Are there particular things to keep in mind when publishing for a headset?

I've thought about using tools like Google Maps, Google Earth and others to bring the viewer along to a destination, do some narration, and create an experience. Just like you would do for a real-life tour, but here you can zoom in and out, fly over a place, go down to the street, pop in some photos, maybe splice some maps or other images in too.

Lots of potential. What about licensing, copyright issues... I know with Google products you just need to leave the watermark on there, but I'm certainly fine with that.

I feel like it's something worth tinkering with and seeing what it could lead to.

10 months ago
Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

Have a look at Matterport for recording 3d spaces for VR: matterport.com

10 months ago (edited)
Podcast Manager, Audio Editor, Ted Cragg Travel Podcasting

aha so that's how they do the 3D house tours and such, interesting. Fun to play around with for sure and see what's possible!

10 months ago
Marketing Manager, Virtually Visiting

The more important question is how does the Travel Industry maintain some part of this before tech takes over? We have been working on a solution, Virtually Visiting. We are using tech, but focusing on people first. People being the Tour Guides and the Tourists. Creating a platform that is human-centric from all aspects - the way the tours are created are 'as good as there' so 360 video virtual tours which are minimally cut or edited, given by real life tour guides. It's all about the tour companies, the customers and all the way down to the way that the app is delivered, onto any internet connected device, not only Oculus. Tour guides don't make money just once off by selling us their tour, but rather make money off every sale in an equal split. We have a background in real travel and have already partnered with companies from around the world. The response from them has been amazing and it was actually a company in Sydney that told us to post here.

10 months ago
Co-Founder, Black & Abroad™

I happen to own an Oculus and enjoy it very much. As much as I love it, I don't think that it'll ever be able to replace the real-time, analog/physical/full-sensory travel experience that a new destination brings you as VR has its limitations. Now an AR experience on the other hand--I can totally vibe with. Imagine standing on the steps of Chichén Itzá, the Great Pyramids, or the Acropolis of Athens and being able to see full architectural renders of the structures as they stood thousands of years ago through your AR lens. Using tech to enhance the physical experience is a win-win.

8 months ago