FutureFive NZ - Travel the world with VR before you even book your flights

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Travel the world with VR before you even book your flights

“We live in a 3D world, why shouldn’t we shop for travel that way?”

This was the grounds for the idea that got the ball rolling for Justin Wilde, a user experience developer at Navitaire, an Amadeus company. His goal was to develop a virtual reality experience that would allow travellers to complete an entire travel booking all in VR, from start to finish.

Four months later, his idea became a (virtual) reality.

“I see a future in which the internet will be a 3D experience, and everyone will have their own portable 3D headsets,” he says.

“This will be a much more natural experience for us, because the world we live in has three dimensions. I think technology, and the way we design user experience online should reflect that too.”

Here’s how a VR booking goes down. The eager traveller begins standing on a platform in the clouds facing a giant, virtual Planet Earth. The user can literally spin the globe to choose a destination, and boom - they’re looking at the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, or anywhere else they desire. The traveller can then book flights and complete payment all through VR.

Users can stroll down the aisle of a plane to find their ideal seat, or sit in the driver’s seat of a rental car to find the perfect ride.

In the future, Wilde hopes to include include hotel booking features, as well as social functions so the traveller could see where their Facebook friends have been as they spin the globe.

Amadeus is wants to become a next generation retailer, and shape the face of the travel business in the future.

“Amadeus’ approach to innovation is driven by our awareness of customer needs, the creativity of our employees and our foresight into the trends shaping our industry,” says Rashesh Jethi, of Amadeus.

“We have to continually evolve how we do things so that we can help our customers adapt to and thrive in a rapidly changing world.”

Wilde completed the first booking using his VR search and booking web application at the end of 2016. While it is still in the project phase, this tech would be right at home in most movies that use hologram phones and all-in-one-meal-capsules to portray the future.

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