Global online booking giant Expedia is developing a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) booking service that enables guests to view hotel rooms 'in person' before they book.
Currently in the development stage at the brand's innovation lab in Singapore, the VR technology will allow prospective customers to interact with the room on a detailed level, including 'opening' sliding doors and 'stepping out' onto the balcony to take in the view.
According to Expedia, the new service is currently being trialled in the US and will be rolled out across all of Expedia's websites, including Hotels.com and Trivago.
Expedia, which invested $1bn in technology in 2016, is also in the process of expanding its chatbot and voice-booking capabilities following its collaboration with Amazon Alexa earlier this year. Additionally, Expedia is currently gathering feedback on its websites with EMG technology, which uses electrons attached to the facial muscles to gauge emotional reactions, in order to improve and deliver its services in a more user-friendly way.
For more on how VR is being utilised across the hospitality space, see Alcohol Meets Tech: Virtual Reality Bars, The Empowered Customer Journey and Travel for the Agile Elite (part of our recent Macro Trend, The New Rules Of Luxury).