TECH & CULTURE

Virtual tours allow worry-free travel

By Staff Writer
August 19, 2022
The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on many different industries, but one of the ones most severely hit has been travel and tourism. As millions of would-be tourists are now staying home, either by choice or due to government restrictions, many service providers and businesses in tourist destinations are feeling the pinch. But one company is offering a possible solution.

VIRTUAL TRIP is a new service that allows users to experience simulated travel by wearing a VR headset. People who cannot travel due to sickness or work can experience the sensation of travelling virtually.
A passenger jet flying through the sky
First adopted by Japanese airline ANA, the process begins with an actual traveler taking 360-degree still images using the THETA 360-degree camera, developed in Japan by Ricoh.

The virtual traveler then uses the airline’s virtual travel app, ANA VIRTUAL TRIP, and the special smartphone goggles provided. This allows them to look all around them with a full 360-degree view in VR, as though they were actually in the location.
A family travelling together
The images sent are in real time, so users can view live scenes even when they are far away and experience the sensation of travelling together.

Users can also make and receive calls as they watch the footage, allowing them to communicate with family members and friends who are travelling locally.

Users can also send real-time requests, such as "send me some more footage from a different angle" or "take a photo here", so their trip will be more exciting and unique.

This service can be particularly handy for business trips, for those who want to share scenery views with their family, choosing souvenirs together with their family back home, or even for joining in events such as weddings held abroad.
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