Booking a place on Airbnb will be easier and more reassuring in the future, thanks to augmented reality and virtual reality. At least, these are the plans announced by the short-term home rental platform.
“Some may say virtual and augmented reality technologies could isolate people even further—but we’re building tools for the opposite effect,” Airbnb points out. The company recognizes the benefits of augmented reality and acknowledges that it can “breathe life into a space and tell the story behind the personal items to connect a traveler with their host and a new city in richer, more immersive ways.”
New Technologies for No-Surprise Booking
There are various issues plaguing the travelers’ confidence in Airbnb rentals. One of them is the difference they note between the photos displayed on the platform and app and the reality they find once they reach their booked residence. The second issue is the language barrier, more precisely instructions for use of various home appliances written in the local language, which the visitor does not understand.
Airbnb plans to solve both these issues by using virtual reality and augmented reality technologies to offer its users a seamless experience both before the booking and during the stay.
Before Booking: 360-degree Virtual Reality Scans of Properties
According to Airbnb, hosts will be able to scan their entire home, or the room they offer for short term rental and upload a 360-degree view of the property onto the website. This will give potential guests the opportunity to look at the apartment or house from all possible angles and assess its suitability to their needs.
The company has been plagued by various scandals involving hosts’ unethical or fraudulent behavior. These detailed scans will reportedly increase customer confidence and help improve Airbnb’s reputation among doubters.
During the Stay: Augmented Reality Helps Guests Enjoy the House
One of the frustrations expressed by guests in Airbnb properties is the lack of instructions on how to operate the various electronic and home appliances. Or, if these instructions exist, they are written in a foreign language, which the guests do not understand.
Thanks to augmented reality, the company explains, the guests will be able to use their phones and obtain instant translations or instructions of use, which will greatly enhance their enjoyment of the place.
The Early Stages of the Project
All these promises are, at the moment, in the theoretical phase. The virtual reality and augmented reality elements for the Airbnb app and website are currently in the “experimenting with” stage, with no specific timeline for the implementation offered.
The vague terms used by the company in the official release are understandable. With so many failed startups and allegedly innovative products, companies have learned to be cautious about the promises they make ahead of time.
If and when the virtual/augmented reality project developed by Airbnb comes true, you will hear of it from us.