VR could turn your next city sightseeing trip into a spy mission

VR has just started to become more popular in the past few years, and this new technology is already making big waves! 

VR has just started to become more popular in the past few years, and this new technology is already making big waves! Some of the most popular uses include video games, military training and theme parks. VR is extending to travel, too, with brands finding innovative uses for immersive experiences. We’ve rounded up some of the top ways you’ll see VR being used in travel in the near-future.

1. Exploring your destination

Everyone recognizes Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa building - it’s 828m tall with 189 floors, making it the tallest building in the world. On floors 124 and 125, tourists can experience this iconic landmark in a whole new way - there are 6 virtual reality ‘pods’ available to tourists where they can experience ascending and descending the tower in a unique way. The VR experience is totally immersive, as pods are able to realistically simulate the feeling of going up in an elevator and having the wind rush past you at the top of the building. The journey takes the in an elevator ride to the top of the building which is interrupted as a mission commander will appear and inform you about a secret mission in which you are a spy. You can interact with your surroundings and parachute from the top of the tower into a fountain below - a truly exhilarating experience!

2. Airlines

So you’ve got a long haul flight coming up - you’ve packed your sleeping mask, neck pillow and favourite book. The in-flight entertainment choices look boring, so you reach for your phone to pull up that movie you’d been meaning to watch - looks like you forgot to download it! Don’t worry, you’re not sentenced to hours of boredom with the Australian airline Qantas Airlines, who now provide their passengers with VR in-flight entertainment. You can fly with the pilots in the cockpit, explore the Great Barrier Reef or relax on a river cruise in Kaduku.

3. Check-in

Amadeus are currently piloting a project that sounds like something right out of a science fiction film - you’ll be able to use VR glasses and specialized gloves to tap locations on a virtual globe to start booking your trip. Users will be able to search for flights, hotels and car rentals before booking their trip directly in the VR experience using their credit card. A patent for the technology is still pending.

4. At your hotel

Marriott and Shangri-La Hotels are now allowing guests to travel the world right from their rooms using Samsung Gear VR headsets, which can be ordered via room service. These allow guests to select from a variety of destinations to explore. Marriott also introduced ‘VR Postcards’ which allow the audience to step into a story via VR - each ‘postcard’ follows a real traveler on a real journey - through the Andes Mountains, to an ice cream shop in Rwanda or in the bustling streets of Beijing.Best Western hotels use VR to allow their guests to tour the hotel before booking their stay. The company worked with Google Street View to gather 1.7 million photos of its properties, so that guests can imagine themselves in the room before they choose it for their stay, meaning you can ‘try before you buy'.A lot of these technologies are still being developed, but the future of immersive reality is finally here. Who knows how advanced the technology could be in 10 or 20 years? We might not even need to get on a plane to go on an exciting trip. If you’d like to stay updated on the latest travel tech industry news and join us on our startup journey, subscribe to our newsletter using the link below!