British Airways is demonstrating the future of travel, by trialling virtual reality technology to customers in Italy.
Nicole Scherzinger, former Pussycat Dolls lead singer and multi-platinum selling solo artist helped British Airways launch the innovation which allows customers to experience destinations in a virtual world before booking.
Nicole said “As a frequent traveller this new technology is super exciting. I would use it to check out an area before I arrive and get inspiration for new holidays. Being able to step
into a destination before I actually get there is sch-amazing! The videos British Airways has created transport me to some of my favourite US experiences, wow!'
The carrier is using 'Oculus Rift' virtual reality headsets to bring three iconic US experiences to life through high grade 360 degree video.
Customers in Europe will be able test out the technology by riding a bucking bronco in Texas, roller skating down the boardwalk on a California beach and ice skating overlooking New York’s famous skyline.
Travellers in Italy are especially keen for this technology to become mainstream, with 71% percent of Italian adults saying they would use virtual reality technology to help them chose a holiday destination.
Italian travellers are very keen to use technology while travelling, 92% of those surveyed can’t live without their mobile phone on holiday.
The virtual reality experiences are part of an investigation designed to trial how technology could be used by the next generation of travellers.
Mark Moscardini, British Airways’ regional commercial manager for South East Europe and North Africa said ‘This is just the start of what could be a huge breakthrough for future travellers. Imagine being able to walk around the hotel that you’re about to book, or look around Time Square to see what attractions are nearby, it is the ultimate try before you fly. Today’s travellers are checking out their destinations on trip advisor, street view and maps, this is the next step to let the customer actually experience destinations in the virtual world.’
The airline is exploring other ways the virtual reality technology can be used at airports and in people’s own homes and on their personal devices, to improve the travel experience for customers of the future. Upcoming developments could see the experiences widen to several streets, and possibly even whole cities, allowing customers to fully immerse themselves in a virtual world before travelling.
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