Expedia Invite You Check Out Your Hotel Room Before You Book With VR

Travel giant are developing VR systems to let you explore potential destinations.

Travel Company Expedia are inviting customers to try out the accommodation on offer without having to leave home with a new virtual reality (VR) innovation.

The travel giant are working on a way for customers of its websites such as Expedia.Com, Hotels.com and Trivago to check out the listings through VR. The technology is still in fairly early stages, but the current demonstration allows users to do things like walk around a hotel room, and even open the doors and head out on to the balcony to check out the view.

So far, the demos of the new technology are only being offered at certain Expedia offices on a HTC Vive headset.
“If you’re going to make the decision of [booking] a cruise, wouldn’t it be cool if you could check out the ship [virtually] before you spend that much money?” Arthur Chapin, Expedia’s Senior Vice President, Product and Design, said during one such demo at the Expedia office in Singapore.

Other parts of the senior staff at Expedia have been less enthusiastic about VR technology. Such as when Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said at a 2016 Geekwire technology conference: “I hope that VR in travel fails miserably because I want people to go places, I think that VR can certainly play a part in your research in travel and your being inspired to go to amazing places on earth.”

Expedia are experimenting with other technologies as well, such as incorporating smart voice technology like Amazon Echo into Expedia’s booking systems. The company has spent over $1 billion (USD) investing in various technologies in the last year.

“We are always investing in research and various different pieces of technology and why we do that is…when you look at disruptive products, they tend to start slow then all of a sudden disruption hits. If you’re not already thinking about it, it can be very hard to keep up,” Mr Chapin explains.

VRFocus will keep you up to date with further innovations in VR and Travel.

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