Airbnb is developing AR and VR features to assist customers to find and navigate rental listings. The company published on its blog. 3D scans and 360-degree photos would allow users to get a better sense of a listing. And augmented reality overlays could facilitate guests better understand the homes on a smaller scale once they are in it. Since last year, build trust among guests and hosts, the company has been looking into VR. And this statement confirming experiments and prototypes could mean that a feature is getting soon.
It makes sense to take a look around a listing in VR before booking. But Airbnb also lists some instances where augmented reality might be useful during your trip. If you’re staying overseas and everything’s in a foreign language. It could be difficult to unlock the door, or figure out the thermostat or the hot water in the shower. It also lists a fun example of AR usefulness like “pulling up a mobile device to get directions to the coffee mugs… First thing in the morning”. This is a problem that could easily be solved by just opening up some cupboards and figuring it out, but I get what they are saying.
Virtual tours have been around in the real estate industry for a while, and Airbnb hosts have been asking for a feature to integrate them into their own listings. While the VR technologies are implemented by giving Airbnb hosts with 360-degree cameras. It may be difficult to integrate the AR concept for individual listings. Since ARKit has been released on iOS 11, We have seen some concepts of what an AR overlay for Airbnb listings might look like. It seems like a helpful and worthwhile idea. But it might be a more difficult challenge for Airbnb to take on.
But until this is a reality, I will be satisfied with the charming hand-written binders with tips on the local sights and illustrations on how to figure out the thermostat.