Will You Take Your Next Vacation Sitting at Home Wearing a Virtual Reality Headset? | #DSW16

Virtual reality is one of those areas that has always inspired fantasies of the fantastic things technology might enable us to do. Perhaps one day, literally any experience could be lived out through advancements in technology. While the actual technology available has yet to live up to the fantasies, companies are making strides that are getting us closer. One area where virtual reality is picking up steam is travel and trip planning.

During a Dallas Startup Week presentation, Mark McSpadden and Maegan Snee of Sabre Labs, a company devoted to travel industry technology, said that we are on the cusp of exciting breakthroughs. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Sitting in my apartment wearing a headset is not a replacement for a real vacation,” you’re right, according to McSpadden. “I don’t see virtual reality replacing travel of any kind,” he said. He does, however, think that virtual reality could be invaluable in the selecting and planning phases of travel. Virtually touring Puerto Rico, Mexico and Jamaica before buying tickets could spare you regret over a poor choice. And working out logistics, directions and other practicalities in advance leaves you more time to enjoy your trip.

In virtual reality, there is digitally created content, and there is real-world capture. “We think the second option, real-world capture, will have the biggest impact on travel,” Snee said. Crystal clear film of the real world is sure to impress, even if digitally created virtual reality has left you cold in the past, she said.

One drag on progress has been the cost of good quality real-word capture content usable for virtual reality. It is produced by movie studios typically, and they charge movie studio prices. Some manufacturers are making cameras that will allow others to create the content for less, though. “The innovation in this space in the next three years is all about content creation and distribution,” said McSpadden, adding that the technology is already quite good and the content just has to catch up.

Watch the video above to find out more.

R.D. Danes