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Technology Your Next Vacation May Be Virtual

03:35  14 october  2019
03:35  14 october  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

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But if the business case for virtual vacations is still weak, the market for technologies that bridge Inexpensive robots that let them interact physically are a natural next step. ANA's robots may not replace its airplanes any time soon, but they’ll almost certainly be a part of travel's high-tech future.

How Do Virtual Vacations Work? Taking virtual vacations might not sound quite as exciting as sitting on a warm beach, but they’re a way to get as close to the action as possible without being physically there. The great thing about going virtual for your next vacation is you can go anywhere at anytime.

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Japan's biggest airline is betting that the future of travel isn't traveling at all. For the last month, a married couple in Oita Prefecture has been interacting with a robot — called an Avatar — that's controlled by their daughter hundreds of miles away in Tokyo. Made by ANA Holdings Inc., it looks like a vacuum cleaner with an iPad attached. But the screen displays the daughter’s face as they chat, and its wheels let her trundle about the house as though she’s really there, and even join her parents at the dinner table.

It may seem like an odd gambit for a global airline. But as populations age, tourism hot-spots get more crowded, and overseas travel becomes less sustainable, ANA and its competitors are betting that they can make money by keeping would-be travelers happily at home.

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Until now, the benefits and applications of virtual reality (VR) in travel have mostly been fun diversions, or a way for travelers to Offers may be subject to change without notice. Privacy Policythis link opens in a new tab Data Policythis link opens in a new tab Terms of Servicethis link opens in a new tab Ad

Sure, vacations are great, but wouldn't they be even better without the jetlag and endless lines? Check out KAYAK's new Virtual Vacations and see the world from the comfort Download one of KAYAK's fully immersive Virtual Vacations today and experience a trip so real that you'll swear you're there.

“Virtual travel” is nothing new, of course. Storytellers, travel writers and artists have been stimulating the senses of armchair tourists for centuries. It's only in recent decades that frequent, safe travel — especially overseas — has become available to the non-wealthy, thanks in large part to low-cost airfares and home-sharing services. In 2018, the travel-and-tourism business grew by nearly 4% and accounted for more than 10% of global GDP.

Yet even as the world's middle classes climb out of the armchair and into economy-class seats, there are hints of a post-travel society emerging. Concerns about sustainability — and movements such as "flight-shaming" — are taking a toll on carbon-intensive airlines, and could spread to other forms of travel. The tourism boom is stressing popular destinations, and forcing them to look at ways to limit visitors. And the aging of affluent societies is both inhibiting physical travel and creating demand for alternative ways to experience the world and stay connected to others.

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My wife Shaylee and I are founders of next vacay. I’m an entrepreneur, travel junkie, and I’ve been solving problems with software since I was a kid. My wife and I love good deals but have demanding jobs, so we invented a system to hunt through all those travel sites to find the best destinations to

Being on vacation means that you are running on a schedule, meaning that you can’t do everything there is to May 9, 2018 at 2:27 am . Thanks, glad to hear that the article is helpful! Useful pointers! But I’m always stuck with ‘where should we go for holiday?’ Literally take a virtual tour of the entire

For the travel industry, virtual reality offers a tantalizing response to these trends. First Airlines, another Japanese company, now lets customers sit in a mock-up of an airplane in Tokyo, where they’re served fancy meals before taking VR tours of select destinations. The company is targeting elderly travelers who don’t want the hassle of a real-life trip, and “flights” to cities such as New York, Paris and Rome are frequently fully booked.

ANA is thinking bigger. It wants to use robotics, haptic technology, and fast communication to create a "new mode of instantaneous transportation" that lets people carry their "presence, consciousness, knowledge, and skills" to remote locations. In less-lofty terms, the idea is to make the VR experience more immersive by stimulating multiple senses, including touch. For example, video-conferences might soon be enhanced by letting participants shake hands, while other technology could one day simulate the feeling of walking on a far-off beach or a mountaintop. Japan's space agency even hopes to use the company’s Avatars for lunar exploration.

Facebook unveils virtual social space for its Oculus users

  Facebook unveils virtual social space for its Oculus users Facebook said Wednesday it will launch a virtual social community where users of its Oculus headgear can "explore new places" and "create their own new experiences." Oculus users will be able to choose an avatar and interact with others in the virtual social community, Facebook said as it opened its Oculus Connect 6 conference. "Our goal is to put people at the center of computing, not just with great hardware, but with amazing software experiences as well," Facebook said in a statement.

Reviews and recommendations to plan your next upscale family vacation on land and sea. Explore cruise ships, fine dining, fantastic resorts, and more. Hotels, restaurants & activities to plan your family vacation in the United States and Caribbean.

How do you go about packing when the time finally comes for your vacation to the Riviera Maya? Some would say packing a suitcase can be considered an art. Well, thankfully Louis Vuitton have kindly designed a virtual guide to The Art of Packing.

Of course, far-out technologies encourage far-out claims. ANA doesn't plan to start selling Avatars until next year, and the initial versions will be decidedly crude. Profits, too, will probably be elusive: By one estimate, the global market for this kind of technology will be worth only about $300 million by 2023. By contrast, ANA’s traditional travel business brought in more than $19 billion last year.

But if the business case for virtual vacations is still weak, the market for technologies that bridge physical distances between families and coworkers seems likely to only expand. Over the past two decades, cheap video-conferencing apps have changed how families and companies around the world communicate. Inexpensive robots that let them interact physically are a natural next step. ANA's robots may not replace its airplanes any time soon, but they’ll almost certainly be a part of travel's high-tech future.

To contact the author of this story: Adam Minter at aminter@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Timothy Lavin at tlavin1@bloomberg.net

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Adam Minter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the author of “Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade” and the forthcoming "Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale."

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Google's new phone AR update can hide virtual things in the real world .
Your virtual cat is hiding behind your real sofa.Apple's newest augmented reality toolset, ARKit 3, has this ability as well, but only on very recent iPhones and iPads. Google ARCore needs a compatible Android phone to work too, but looks to blend furniture, pets, and a lot more with apps that incorporate the new ARCore Depth API and its object-hiding tech (called occlusion).

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