Do you love to travel but hate those cattle-class seats and jet lag dramas? If we can sample food and try on clothing before a purchase, why not test-drive a city before committing to a flight?
Kayak VR, a virtual reality platform, lets you explore a city and learn about its most treasured landmarks from the comfort of your living room. Accessible through Google’s Daydream headset, Kayak VR is currently piloting two cities — Venice and Kathmandu — providing travel tips and trends, audio tours on landmarks, exploration of local hotels, and a sense of the real scale (and crowdedness) of a given destination. Perhaps one of Kayak VR’s more remarkable features is the app’s stereophonic sound option, adapting its audio tour to your visual focus within a given scene.
This ‘pre-exploration’ of a city, serves both tourists who are sitting on the fence about where to go and eager planners who are building out a trip agenda. THinking forward tools like Kayak VR will democratize and delocalize global tourism – an industry that contributed nearly $8.3 trillion USD to the global economy in 2017. Offering visually coherent and educationally rich data on your surroundings, the platform may one day allow anyone a private tour of the Sistine Chapel or a view from Mt. Kilimanjaro – without the jet lag or the long flights and hotel prices.
While nothing beats circling Venice in a gondola or reaching the peak of a hike, Kayak VR’s informational tours and visual immersion could one day offer unprecedented exposure to billions without a passport or the ready capital for a flight.
You can read more here at Kayak’s article “Try before you travel — Kayak launches virtual reality exploration tool“.
Would you travel like this?