The travel and holiday industry has already begun to take some tentative steps towards virtual reality (VR), mostly with regards to showing clients what potential holiday destinations will look like in order to aid choice. Navitaire, however, are going a different route by introducing VR travel booking app Skift.
Navitaire operate as a low-cost carrier reservation platform, and the company have shown off a proof-of-concept demonstration of what booking a trip entirely within VR might look like with the Skift app. One of the developers behind the app, Justin Wilde, showed how the app could be employed by utilising VR-ready Smart Gloves. Picking up a virtual calendar and pointing at a date showed the available flights on that date, which could in turn be selected to view aircraft types and sizes and seating charts. Ticket information leads through to billing where a floating wallet at the user’s side comes into play to allow for credit cards to be used.
When booking a seat on a flight, users can pick a seat by positioning tiny avatars within the virtual place, this is even possible when booking for multiple people, allowing for the best seating arrangement when booking for large groups. The VR representation of the plane also makes it clearer to the user what the differences between planes means, and other visual representation of things like flight paths and stopovers convey information is a more readily accessible manner than is currently available.
The developers at Navitaire admit that there is still much work needed to be done on Skift before it is ready for a commercial release, but anticipate that the Skift demo will be the first step towards making such software available on all consumer VR headsets.
VRFocus will keep you informed on other developments with VR and travel.