Travel could actually also be shifted into virtuality in order to fulfill unexpected dreams of ours. A tour to the moon and Mars with flight simulators; the longed-for sun holiday on the impossible shores of Antarctica in reconstructed solar studios with virtual glasses and an immersive environment. So much for the dreams – however, tangible options are provided now by means of new VR technology. No trips into virtuality, of course, but previews of the spatial situations of real, experienceable travel destinations.
For instance, in 2015 British Airways lured individuals interested in travel to three dream destinations in the USA with the Oculus Rift VR glasses, where it had them jog on the Californian coast, glide through New York on skates and do rodeo riding on a mechanical horse – all just with glasses and helping hands so that the rocking of the filmed picture material did not knock over the standing VR glasses travellers. Previously, Thomas Cook set up a small VR adventure course in special concept stores and in 2012, airline Emirates began to study the possibilities of experiencing their flight offers geographically in their own laboratory. Of interest to the companies is that the customers can obtain an impression of their travel experience in advance. Or perhaps something more?
Europe’s tallest building, The Shard in London, offers the physically experienceable thrill of tall buildings on a visit to the top. From there, one can gain an idea of the size of the city and look pretty far beyond it. A VR adventure tour with a Samsung Gear VR gives an advance impression of what there is to see and how it can feel. Additionally, the VR video swallows up time and the VR visitors experience a temporality that is not experienceable like this. The virtuality is to encourage an actual visit (ticket costs from GBP 25.95 online) and can thus apply exemplarily to the near future of the tourism industry. The photography and video are complemented by VR experiences; holidaymakers can get closer to the potential experiences. German company 3spin developed a three-dimensional trip preview for Lufthansa.
To achieve realistic experiences, the image material must be produced from all possible perspectives: glances to the side, upwards and downwards – with specially developed cameras. Technology will not (yet?) be able to replace real holidays. However, it can allow trips to fictitious places. Today, there are already forms of games tourism.
LINK: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/gallery/2015/jul/10/nine-video-game-holiday-destinations, such as the other places series on Youtube. LINK: https://www.youtube.com/user/ultrabrilliant.