The latest tech-savvy travel experience has Mariott Hotels working with a Los Angeles visual-effects firm Framestore. Why on Earth is a hotel working with a visual-effects company? Don’t they stick to video games and movies? Not anymore. They have created virtual-reality teleporters, which creates a Maui beach experience (similar to Google’s underwater street view for Maui a few years ago) within the confines of a hotel. The Teleporter itself is traveling across the country on an eight city tour, which began September 18th. The virtual experience is part of Mariott Hotels attempt at making hotels more than only a building of tiny, temporary rooms and more futuristic. Framestore has also created other virtual-reality (VR) experiences like the Game of Thrones experience, Ascend the Wall. Now, the video game, TV, and movie graphics are expanding to markets beyond those.
The Teleporters look similar to a phone booth with a sleek design, but when you step inside, the wall surrounding you becomes a 360-degree realistic vacation view, as if you were actually traveling there. Not only is it like looking at a 3-D image-the rolling waves and ocean mist are a part of the deal as well. This VR experience in hotels only makes the world’s obsession with technological advances. While this 90 second experience might showcase the advancement and success of visual-effects technology, the traveler begins to wonder how close this VR experience can get to the realistic R&R that we look forward to in Maui and other vacation-spots.
One setback of the virtual vacation is the inability to actual move around the 3-D video. Since a camera cannot simulate the same motion that our heads can when we look left to right, the experience inside the Teleporter is limited to only looking out at the view. This VR experience, however, helps customers avoid airports, travel stress, and planning logistics, but without being able to move around, the traveling experience cannot be replicated quite yet, and perhaps can’t be. The Teleporter seems to be another way to create realistic experience out of a surreal one, in a similar way that sky-diving simulators do. It isn’t the ‘real thing,’ but it can still be exciting and entertaining.
Where would you want to take a virtual-reality vacation?
image via CNBC