Virtual Travel Booth Promises 4D Tourism
Marriott hotel chain's Teleporter coming to a city near you
Remember Rekall, the travel agency in Total Recall that sedates Arnold Schwarzenegger and sends him on a psychic vacation to Mars? Marriott Hotels is now trying to deliver on that concept.
In September, the hotel chain unveiled the Teleporter, a booth fully equipped with an Oculus Rift headset, fans, heat blowers, misting nozzles, and a scent dispenser, all to create a fully immersive virtual travel experience. According to Wired, visual effects firm Framestore (which pulled in the Best Visual Effects Oscar this year for Gravity) developed the simulator over the summer.
The idea behind it is to inspire travel, not to replace it, so claims Marriott marketing vice president Michel Dail, who recently told the Verge, “People have such a love for travel, there’s really no replacing that cultural experience of being in the space, meeting the people, experiencing the food.” Freedom of movement within the simulation is severely limited, though Dail added, “The technology may improve to the point someday where it can totally surpass that real experience.”
The simulator booth is currently on an eight-city demo tour through New York, Boston, D.C., Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco.