Technologies have advanced in ways originally only thought possible in the movies. The Matrix and Avatar completely blew our minds with the ability to live in a world without being in that world. Today, that is reality. Well, virtual reality.
In its basic form, virtual reality (VR) is an experience that takes place within simulated and immersive environments that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. The developer’s imagination is the only limitation to what a VR world could be.
There are multiple applications for this emerging technology. Healthcare, real estate, eLearning and retail all leverage VR. Law enforcement is also using the technology. Officers gain access to immersive training enabling them to experience hostile situations without being in immediate danger.
And, while the technology crosses many industries, it is still in its infancy. eMarketer.com estimates that 49.2 million people will use VR in some form, or roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population.
Enhance the Experience
At the 2017 HITEC Conference in Toronto, WCI ventured into the world of VR challenging booth attendees to locate our logo inside a virtual hotel room. Hundreds of attendees put on the VR goggles and took on the challenge. Some were immediately comfortable in the simulation. Others took a little time adjusting to what they were seeing and experiencing.
Regardless of participant, there was one thing that was obvious. Everyone enjoyed the experience. It is fun. It was engaging. VR enabled them to experience a hotel room they were all familiar with in real life in a new way.
So, the question becomes how can VR be used in our industry to further provide guests the most innovative, memorable and positive experience possible during every single stay?
Virtually Endless Opportunity
Today, VR helps hoteliers deliver the experience of staying at their resort to future guests.
Before, hotel photo galleries were used to give guests a sense of hotel amenities, what the views from their rooms could be and what activities are available. Now VR videos are taking that to the next level and truly immersing the guest into the look, feel and experience of a hotel.
VR room tours enable a guest to almost touch and feel the bedding. They can sense the warmth on their face as they stand and watch the sun set from the balcony. They can experience the flow of the room and if it will work for their needs. Hoteliers can offer a realistic experience even if that person is thousands of miles away.
Hoteliers can take amenity and excursion experiences virtually as well. VR uses all the senses while traditional video is limited to two or three senses. Similar to VR gaming, take your guests into a new world. Instead of using a video of what someone could experience, create excitement by allowing guests to feel as though they are in it.
Consider even offering VR headsets as a part of the hotel entertainment package. Like our use of VR during HITEC, hoteliers can have VR headsets in their lobby to engage guests in a fun event. Providing VR headsets in-room can enhance a guest’s stay by enabling them to continue their gaming activities.
As an industry, experience is key. From customer service during a stay to offering the best in-room entertainment, guests want the best. VR technology can help hoteliers provide that experience even before a guest steps foot on a property.
This year at HITEC 2019 we are taking our attendees into another immersive environment. Experience a fully equipped Smart Hotel Room at Booth 1825.