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BEYOND 360° VIDEO: VIRTUAL REALITY HITS HOTELS

From AR-enabled tablets to virtual vacations, hotels are embracing this new technology.

BEYOND 360° VIDEO: VIRTUAL REALITY HITS HOTELS

Virtual reality has moved from the sidelines to the mainstream this year and hotels are joining a growing number of industries recognising the technology's potential. Beyond the obvious applications of VR to enhance the pre-arrival experience with 360° video, we look at how hotels are experimenting with innovative ideas from planning and marketing to guest experience. 

 

On-Resort Experiences

In their new property set within London’s Shard, the Shangri-La’s flagship suite comes with  a tablet equipped with AR features that augment, for example, digital newspapers and a local area guide. Late last year, Marriott launched their VRoom Service in two properties in London and New York. The experimental service currently lets guests explore the Chilean Andes, an ice cream shop in Rwanda and the buzzing streets of Beijing via “VR Postcards” on a Samsung Gear headset loaned out to guests for 24 hours at a time.

 

Digital_Newspaper_Shangri-La

Digital Newspaper by Shangri-La // Header: VRoom Service by Mariott Hotels

 

Advertising & Destination Marketing

The St. Giles Hotels group recently launched a contest that saw its own guests shoot 360° videos for a digital and social campaign showcasing experiences to be had in the vicinity of their properties. In June, they distributed Samsung cameras to a selection of guests, staff and social media influencers. The result is St Giles 360, a designated platform that encourages users to "Explore London, New York, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Manila, and Sydney through the lens of the St Giles guests. Feel what it means to Be Central in our cities and immerse yourself in the culture at our doorsteps."

 

Credit: St Giles Hotels

 

The Shangri-La Hotels group is using the same Samsung headset in global sales offices and individual hotel sales teams - using VR to appeal to wholesalers, travel agents, and meeting planners rather than the general public. Rather than using 360° video to showcase their hotels via previews, Hilton innovatively leveraged the technology by creating a VR-enabled ad campaign. Beginning with a standard video sequence, the ad, which was designed especially for mobile, concludes by encouraging users to click through to a set of 360° scenes. Dubbed a "virtual vacation", the experience immerses viewers in the beauty of the Bahamas, with users able to explore coral reefs and beach views by tilting and rotating their phone screen. The idea is that by giving people an enhanced glimpse of a desirable setting, Hilton can increase its visibility - and sales - in that destination. 

 

 

Planning and Design

The Carlson Rezidor group has recently started using BluPrint, a VR-enhanced app that gives investors and developers a better understanding of the design process involved in the group’s Radisson Blu hotel brand. Elsewhere, tech giant Philips has also created an app designed help property owners visualise how their products will look in hotel rooms. Developers and designers can use the app to create a 3D image of a hotel room and overlay it with Philips’ devices to get a tangible sense of how the technology will interact with the real-world space and its users. 

 

BluPrint

Credit: BluPrint by Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

27 / 10 / 2016 // by LigaStudios Team

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