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Enabling Virtual Travel With Virtual and Augmented Reality
February 9, 2021 News


As the world begins the largest vaccination process in history, it is still unclear when international travel will become accessible again to everyone. While some countries have made travel bubble arrangements for international travel, they eventually have been cancelled due to problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, in order to help travellers fill their travel void, several companies are now offering virtual tours. Technology has enabled companies to offer an experience just as good as a real trip through wearables like Augmented Reality goggles in Virtual Reality.

A virtual tour is a simulation of an existing location. The simulation usually comprises of a sequence of videos or still images and may require additional multimedia elements such as sound effects, music, narration and text.

Today, there is a range of VR travel experiences that can take holiday goers wherever they want to go from the comforts of their couch at home. While it may be some time before we have technology that can implement real travel memories and experiences, like in the 1990 film Total Recall, the experience is a good escape from reality.

So worry not, we won’t wake up as a secret agent with memory loss and being hunted down after a virtual journey like Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the aforementioned film.

Interestingly, when Oculus launched the Quest 2 headset several months ago, one of the most popular experiences was the National Geographic VR. The experience took users to places such as Antarctica, providing them opportunities to navigate icebergs in a kayak and climb ice shelves without freezing themselves.

Of course, the experience is virtual and we don’t get the full experience but the visual stimulation through the AR goggles is good enough to make you feel as if you are really there. Several museums and art galleries including the Louvre in France and the British Museum have also begun virtual tours for visitors to their website.

In Malaysia, a few licensed tour guides are offering live virtual tours with real tour guides or choose to watch recorded segments. The tours are mostly based in Melaka, which highlights include Kampung Morten and Praya Lane, and Kuala Lumpur, where the guides take you on a journey of “old KL” and the KL we know now.

So what is the technology that enables all this?

Augmented Reality is fast becoming the most sought-after experience today. Besides virtual tours, AR is also fast becoming adopted by a whole bunch of industries today. From manufacturing to logistics, the use of AR is allowing these businesses to work a lot more efficiently as the googles are able to provide a lot more information to those wearing them.

When it comes to travel, AR goggles are not only able to provide the ultimate visual experience but they can also project natural ambient sound to match the visuals it’s broadcasting. AR goggles are able to block outside sound, providing users with the best experience they can have in a virtual environment.

So if you’re stuck at home for the Lunar holidays and have nowhere to go, you might want to invest in some AR goggles and check out some virtual tours like this.