While the phrase, ‘see the world from your living room’ may incite scoffs from seasoned globe-trotters, there’s a lot of benefits to introducing VR to travel. Seeing the best of planet Earth without the sleazy tour reps, long plane journeys or screaming children? Sign us up.
Sure, it’s not actually real. But with technology advancing at the rate it currently is, it certainly feels it. While most of us would probably rather jump on a plane and see the real-life Machu Picchu than gawp at it from the comfort of our living room while munching on a bag of Walkers, we know not everyone feels the same.
Regardless of opinions, virtual reality looks set to transform the travel industry. We’re expecting that 2018 will see a huge increase in virtual reality style app development, and the travel industry will change indefinitely because of it.
Here’s how virtual reality will change the way we travel.
Travel For The Less Abled
For us, this is the best thing about using virtual reality for travel.
Despite improvements being made all the time, the unfortunate reality is that not everyone is able to venture out of their hometown. Whether this is due to a disability, illness or perhaps even just a lack of funds; virtual reality will make it easier for less-able people to ‘visit’ parts of the world we previously thought impossible. VR can provide less able people with an immersive and realistic experience for, in most cases, a fraction of the cost.
There are many people who simply cannot be bothered with the hassle of travel or many who simply don’t have the time. We’re talking busy parents with younger children or workaholics who can’t bear to leave the comfort of their warm, fluorescently-lit office.
Long delays, questionable digestion and a hotel that’s absolutely nothing like the picture is, for many people, simply a part of going on holiday. It’s annoying, it’s inconvenient, but it makes a good story when you get home.
However, others aren’t quite so positive about the trials and tribulations that come with globe-trotting. For some people, the lost suitcases and cries of ‘I NEED A WEE” are enough for them to abandon the idea of holidays altogether. Travelling using virtual reality is made for people such as these.
So, send the kids to Grandma’s, settle down on the sofa and visit whichever wonder of the world you like. That miserable, all-inclusive to Benidorm is a distant memory.
Travel Through Time
We all have an image in our head of what our city looked like 200 years ago, but what if we could actually experience it. We’re not exactly yearning to revisit the days of the bubonic plague or The Battle of Hastings, but wouldn’t it be cool to see what our hometowns looked like during this period? Virtual reality is already being introduced into schools, and it’s only going to get bigger. With VR, the opportunities to educate are endless.
Reducing Carbon Footprints
Some researches seem to be citing VR as the technology that’s going to save the planet. While we’re reluctant to go that far, we can sort of see where they’re coming from.
While we can’t dunk children (or climate change deniers) in an ocean filled with plastic, or force them to stand on top of a gradually melting iceberg (apparently, that’s illegal), what we can do is educate them about global warming in a far more immersive way.
Transporting users to regions that will soon be affected by climate change could inspire them to be more environmentally friendly, as they will be able to see the changing landscapes.
While travelling can do a lot of good (encourage open-mindedness and help local economies for example), plane travel isn’t so great for planet Earth. The ETA reported that just one return flight from London to New York produces more carbon footprint than a whole year’s personal allowance. So, it’s not looking good.
If more people start to use VR to travel, instead of hopping on a flight across the world, it will drastically cut emissions. Sure, it might not be enough to save the world from its imminent end, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Guest article written by: Alexandra is marketing executive for Borne Digital, a London-based mobile app development company. Borne specialises in apps for iOS and Android, as well as web development.