In a recent blog post, hospitality service company AirBNB discussed the role of augmented and virtual reality in their business. Citing the expansion of VR and AR technologies, the company sees opportunities to make travel easier and more engaging.
On the pre-trip side, AirBNB indicated they are exploring ways to “allow people to connect with their destination, host, and co-travelers.” This could include more immersive location preview technologies, such as 360 degree photos and 3D scans — empowering prospective renters to immersively view properties.
Further into the future, the company sees the possibility of weaving together VR experiences to allow customers to “share more than a spreadsheet or email chain when planning travel together,” including previewing attractions near the properties they are considering.
During trips, the company sees substantial opportunities for augmented reality. They cite, for example, one of the main pain points of travel being unfamiliarity with a new space.
“Augmented reality and related technologies let us recognize surroundings and provide contextual, timely information to navigate these pain points,” the company said.
“Just think how welcome, pulling up directions to the coffee mugs on a mobile device will be first thing in the morning. Or, instant translations on how to work that German thermostat.”
AirBNB also points out that while many view AR/VR technologies as being isolating, the sorts of tools they are building will have an opposite effect.
The company indicates it will continue to develop use cases and innovations with VR/AR technologies, with a focus on integrating features that offer “value to guests, hosts and the communities to and from where they travel.”