A vision of the future for holidaymakers

Augmented reality glasses for use on city tours are the latest example of the immersive technologies helping to enhance the holiday experience.

An alternative to the umbrella-waving tour guide could soon see holidaymakers exploring cities and places of interest with the help of augmented reality glasses.

The specs, which are currently being tested by TUI customers in Palma de Mallorca, enable text, photographs, videos and 3D models to be displayed in front of what the user is looking at. The company said the technology offered holidaymakers “new, more exciting access” to historical facts and stories and took into account many tourists’ desire to explore on their own.

In the Palma trial, users have been able to learn more about an artist whose paintings they are viewing, or see an animation of the famous dragon that is said to have terrorised the city.

Try before you fly

TUI is one of the first travel providers in the world to offer the technology, which builds on recent developments revolutionising the holiday booking experience.

This has included Thomas Cook’s “try before you fly” virtual reality feature, which gives web and store visitors a closer look at destinations or the cabin of one of the company’s planes.

Hotels have been using similar technology to give their website visitors a better view of the rooms they have on offer. And once customers arrive at their destination, interactive maps have been providing an extra layer of information on local points of interest when viewed on a smartphone.

Airline technology

In the airline sector, easyJet is now using augmented reality technology to help customers know if their cabin bag is within the right dimensions before they set off for the airport. The company hopes the feature on its app will reduce unexpected baggage queries on arrival.

The scan provides an on-screen 3D box which when combined with a customer’s smartphone camera sizes the cabin bag and indicates whether it fits within the maximum dimensions.

Travelport’s Cormac Reilly, who helped develop the feature for easyJet, said: “Audiences are increasingly demanding digital solutions which improve their travel experience.”


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