AUGMENTED REALITY (AR)
The integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time is termed as Augmented Reality (AR). Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.
The apps for Augmented Reality are written in special 3D programs that allow the developer to tie animation/contextual digital information in the computer program to an augmented reality marker in the real world.
For smartphones, the AR applications typically include global positioning system (GPS) to pinpoint the user’s location and its compass to detect device orientation.
AUGMENTED REALITY FOR TRAVEL INDUSTRY
As we all know, tourism is an integral part of the modern society. And we travel for multiple reasons: recreation, leisure and business. Tourism is accountable for 30% of the world’s exports of services, 6% of overall exports of goods, and is the basis of the service culture in many societies.
The launch of AR on smartphones and tablet means users will have access to up-to-date information relevant to their needs and preferences. A big problem for tourists is often the language, as even reading and understanding directions become a nightmare. AR has the ability to translate the different languages by just scanning the language displayed at airports, signage etc.
Knowing more about the culture and history of a place is the core part of a tourist’s motives for travelling. AR has the capacity to create a powerfully immersive and captivating educational environment.
Allowing users to experience things rather than just read or be told merits a whole new dimension of learning.
AR can be used by the hotel and hospitality industry to provide a 360 degree live and interactive view of their rooms to the guests, enabling a 3D vision. It can be used by the aviation industry to give fliers a more comprehensive view of the seats, their locations, legroom available etc. It can be used by the tourism boards to provide real time view of the destinations.
AR will soon dictate the future of industries, and travel industry should get started already.
HOW THEY CAN BE HELPFUL
- Evolution of landmarks and monuments
- Interactive travel guides
- Engaging social travel games
- Breathtaking city tours
- Real time directions
Paris, Then and Now (iOS application)