Sightseeing News & Views
December 15th, 2016

1st VR Newsletter For the Travel Industry

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Note from the Editor

The prediction at the start of this year was that virtual and augmented reality would finally come into the mainstream and that is exactly what happened!  The release of VR headsets at all price ranges burst upon the scene mid year bringing the once expensive, arcane technology to John Q. Public.  The travel industry has definitely stepped up to the power of VR this year and is using it in all sorts of interesting ways from the “pre-sell” to the experience of the actual product (think roller coasters and theme parks for starters). So, it’s certainly not a mystery that a VR headset is on the list  of “hottest Christmas gifts” for 2016.  It’s exciting to watch this new technology unfold in the world of tourism. I wonder what  2017 will bring? 

Ultimate virtual reality holiday gift guide  extremetech.com 

What a year it’s been for virtual reality! Three major platforms launched, dozens of new games were released, and this is just the beginning. Nearly every major tech company is investing in VR in some way, and average consumers are finally benefiting from the years of prototyping and research.  READ MORE  

 

Christmas gift of the year: a virtual reality headset   Raayvr.com   

HUI Research AB(owned by the Swedish Trade Association) has, since 1988, annually announced the Christmas gift of the year. The automatic baking machine, the mobile phone, the audio book, headphones and the juice extractor are all examples of products from previous years. And, the Christmas Gift of the Year is a VR-headset!  READ MORE

 

Doubts that virtual travel agents will replace the real thing   Travel Weekly

The latest attempt by Thomson to create a virtual travel agent has raised the prospect of machines taking over the booking process, but travel firms insist the human touch will always be vital. Thomson parent TUI has started trials on next-generation customer search technology powered by the latest IBM Watson artificial intelligence technology. TUI claimed using technology that could “think like a human” on its website would “raise the bar”.  READ MORE


The next big thing in travel  Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

It seems like we’re surrounded by disruption. Perhaps no industry has been disrupted more than travel. Expedia, Airbnb and Google all have changed the way we dream, plan, and book our vacations. Though this disruption has been uncomfortable for many in the travel business, it has brought travelers a richer, more personalized experience. But like all innovation there’s always the question of “what’s next?”  READ MORE

 The White House just launched an augmented reality app Technical.ly.com

Leave it to the Obama administration to figure out ways to pile on the tech fun in the waning days of this presidency. On Thursday, in a blog post on whitehouse.gov, Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced that the White House has launched a new augmented reality app 1600, as the app is known, allows users to “experience a year at the White House” by simply aiming the app at a dollar bill.  READ MORE

 


 

Samsung Releases Free Augmented Reality App Identifying Hidden Hazards at Australian Beaches  Theinertia.com

According to the Australian Shark Attack File, there’ve been 18 shark attacks in Australia this year, two of which were fatal.  In comparison with the 53 drownings in Australia’s oceans and harbors from July 2015 to June 2016, it’s pretty clear that there’s a better chance of drowning that dying in a shark attack. In fact, there’s a better chance of drowning than even encountering a shark. That’s why Samsung and Surf Life Saving Australia are getting together to make an augmented reality app that will hopefully improve beach safety.  READ MORE 

How virtual reality is about to take you to Pearl Harbor and the Berlin Wall  Washingtonpost.com

If you're like most Americans, you probably learned about Pearl Harbor from a textbook or by watching a film about the surprise attack in 1941 against U.S. naval forces. But now, visitors to a Washington-area museum can experience a measure of what it was really like to be at the scene. Standing amid the wreckage of burned-out trucks and a downed Japanese fighter plane, they can gaze up at the sinking U.S.S. West Virginia as thick, black smoke curls its way slowly across the sun.   READ MORE

Covent Garden transforms into world's first augmented realilty shopping destination this Christmas   Hearst Magazine UK

Visitors to Covent Garden can experience the Christmas shopping spree of the future this festive season as the area transforms into the world’s first augmented reality (AR) retail district in partnership with pioneering AR and visual discovery app Blippar and Hearst Magazines UK.  Following AR’s explosive growth in gamification and advertising during 2016 – the year that saw it shift from niche interest to widespread consumer adoption...  READ MORE

SeaWorld goes virtual with a coaster ride among mythical sea creatures  Miami Herald

SeaWorld Orlando has several vantage points where you can see the twists and loops of Kraken, a roller coaster named for a mythological creature of the deep. But imagine not being able to see any of that while you’re riding the coaster.  Instead of seeing Kraken’s loops and dives, the taller coaster nearby or the retention ponds below, it looks like you’re about to dive into …... Is that a giant crack in the ocean floor? In the spring, SeaWorld will retrofit the coaster with a virtual reality overlay.READ MORE

These startups are redefining travel experience with cutting-edge technology yourStory.com

Startups in the tourism sector are rare, and those receiving support from the government are even rarer.  But here are three startups in the highly fragmented sector whose ground-breaking ideas in the space have caught the Karnataka (India) government’s attention, netting them hefty investments.  READ MORE

 


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