airbnb plans VR previews of rooms and cities to enrich our travels

airbnb plans VR previews of rooms and cities to enrich our travels

if photos just aren’t enough when choosing the listing that best suits your weekend getaway, you and your travel companion(s) could organize a speedy viewing in the near future. in a bid to empower its’ guests, hosts, and local communities, airbnb wants to implement virtual reality to give tenants an immersive preview of potential accommodation, and augmented reality to enhance the experience after you arrive.

airbnb virtual reality previews augmented reality
tenants will eventually have the option to view their potential accomodation in VR
image courtesy of airnbnb



airbnb announced today (december 12th, 2017) that it is in the early stages of adding VR and AR to its services, predicting their own use of 360 photos and 3D scans to let tenants explore homes and cities before they arrive. then, augmented reality will assist travellers by throwing up contextual information such as ‘directions to the coffee mugs’ or ‘instant translations on how to work that german thermostat’.


it is also hoped that augmented reality might breath life into the space offering on personal items of the host, connecting them to their tenant and the new city. the announcement comes after they conducted a similar experience in a collaboration with muller van severen during design miami/ 2017. in ‘a wild thing’ the belgian design duo offered an intimate exploration of their shared home by duplicating it in miami and hosting precise replicas of treasured objected accompanied by recorded scenes sharing their deeper meanings.

airbnb virtual reality previews augmented reality
interactive lightboxes with recorded scenes from their living room created an immersive experience during ‘a wild thing’, the experimental collaboration between muller van severen and airbnb
image courtesy of airbnb



airbnb have not announced exactly when these new features will be realised and stress that any new functionality added to the app will require ‘experimentation, iteration, and technological evolution,’ and most importantly, time.

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