XR In The Travel Industry. Redefining Through Technology.
Travel plays a crucial role in our personal growth. While we can gain knowledge about new places through books and the internet, nothing compares to the excitement and fulfillment of exploring and experiencing them in person. However, technology can enhance our travel experiences without disconnecting us from reality. One such technology is Augmented Reality (AR), which is already revolutionizing how we perceive the world and different cultures.
AR can be used in various ways to make our travels more interesting. For instance, geo-location filters and special AR features can make festivals more immersive and captivating. As we approach mid-summer, we can introduce you to a last-minute digital travel guide that incorporates AR.
At first, it may seem counterintuitive to use technology while traveling, as we often seek a break from screens. However, AR can be a useful tool that enhances our experiences without detaching us from reality. So, how does it work? There are several ways to utilize AR in travel:
👉 AR Travel Guides
👉 360-degree views
👉 Geo-location filters
👉 Digital exhibitions
👉 Festival features
These AR features can be used practically or for entertainment purposes, making the tourist experience more enjoyable.
Practical travel tools are essential, considering the complexities of travel planning. Technology may not eliminate all the challenges, but it can provide significant support throughout the process. For example, language barriers are a common concern when traveling abroad. Fortunately, apps like AR translators can help us navigate foreign environments effortlessly. By simply scanning the surroundings, translations will appear on your screen, eliminating the need for manual input or text conversion.
AR features can also be found in two crucial aspects of trip planning: food and accommodation. 360-degree views are commonly used by hotels to offer informative and visually appealing features. For instance, Holiday Inn uses AR to showcase virtual displays of celebrities who have stayed at their hotels, creating an additional tourist attraction. Other accommodations, such as the Mansion or Premier Inn, utilize AR to provide informative brochures or maps of the area through smartphone screens. In restaurants, AR is often employed to display menus, adding 3D animations to enhance the dining experience.
One of our favorite AR inventions is the AR Travel Guide, which combines a map, GPS, and encyclopedia into one app. With apps like CityGuyd, Zumoko, or City Guide Tour, you can discover all the secrets of your destination. Simply point your camera at the surrounding area, and relevant information will appear on your screen. This immersive visual experience makes it easier to absorb information without the hassle of searching for it separately online. Whether you want to learn about a landmark’s history or find the nearest restaurant, an AR Travel Guide can provide all the necessary information. In our opinion, it’s a truly revolutionARy concept.
Exploring the AR experience
If we take a closer look at the relatively short history of Augmented Reality (AR), we can see that it gained popularity through the release of Niantic’s Pokémon GO game. Interestingly, even this game had connections to the travel industry. As the game’s virtual scavenger hunt was not limited to a specific area, players could encounter Pokémon characters anywhere they traveled. While people may not have specifically booked trips solely to embark on a digital Pokémon journey, it was common to find many players near landmarks and other tourist hotspots. This trend continues to thrive today. Niantic further capitalized on this concept with the Peridot App, which allows players’ digital pets to join them on their real-life vacations.
Geo-location filters serve as the foundation of AR tourism, revolutionizing the way we experience different places. This combination of GPS and Augmented Reality has the power to completely transform our travel experiences. For instance, we can visualize how a specific location appeared in the past, witness historical events unfolding right before our eyes, or even transport ourselves into the fantastical worlds of our favorite TV shows. It’s an extraordinary and unparalleled experience, allowing us to see things that would otherwise be unimaginable, like dragons soaring through the sky.
Meet Me In London
When traveling, many people consider visiting at least one museum to be an essential part of their trip. However, some may find the traditional museum experience a bit dull. Fortunately, times have changed! Nowadays, most galleries have embraced Augmented Reality (AR) to not only make the museum experience more captivating and immersive but also to facilitate the educational process by incorporating visual technology. Additionally, AR provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about local artists, as they often collaborate with museums to create unique and interactive displays.
Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle
The collaboration between Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris and Microsoft brought the exhibition to life. Named “Revivre” (meaning “To live again”), the display showcased the stories of extinct animals. Visitors had the unique opportunity to observe these animals as if they were still alive today, thanks to dedicated lenses and augmented reality technology.
The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
The aim of this extraordinary exhibition was to extend the average time visitors spend observing a single piece of art. To achieve this, digital artist Alex Mayhew collaborated with The Art Gallery of Ontario to develop a unique experience called ReBlink. With the help of a mobile app, visitors were able to interact with the displayed paintings and witness them come to life as if they belonged in the 21st century.
Art of London AR Gallery
In contrast to the previously mentioned exhibitions, this particular one took place live on the streets of London. Both historical and contemporary paintings were displayed, stretching from Trafalgar Square to Green Park, accessible to both locals and tourists. A collaboration between the National Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, and the National Portrait Gallery made it possible to bring 20 art pieces to life through the use of Augmented Reality (AR).
When discussing summer travel, it’s impossible not to mention festivals, as they are often abundant with AR experiences. As previously mentioned, Coachella has become a landmark event for Augmented Reality. However, Coachella is not the only example of how technology is revolutionizing the festival experience. From themed photo frames for selfies to dedicated AR experiences throughout the event, there is always something exciting to engage with.
Dream Portal Fantasy
What lies ahead for the travel industry?
The examples mentioned earlier are just a glimpse of what is possible, but the truth is that the potential is limitless. When we contemplate the impact of technology on the industry, we naturally start to ponder what the future holds. Looking at current market trends, it becomes apparent that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a significant influence. Already, AI can provide great assistance by answering specific queries. From planning the entire trip to finding the best flights and suggesting affordable accommodations, AI can handle a range of tasks. However, it’s important to note that technology currently has its limitations, and we must remember to bring our own knowledge and decision-making abilities when traveling. Nevertheless, who knows what the future holds? Perhaps, in a few years, we could experience the summer of our dreams without lifting a finger.