, 1er journal des professionnels du tourisme francophone

I. Will 3D technology revolutionize the tourism industry and sales within agencies?

The world of 3D provides new perspectives

Creating three dimensional images has been a technological obsession for a long time, especially in the film industry. But today, 3D is not only reserved to this field, and is becoming more and more accessible and useful to companies. Within tourism, this technology provides an immersive marketing tool. How then, can companies grasp this phenomenon and use it to their advantage? Explanation.

Rédigé par Pierre Georges & Mathilde Khlat translated by Joséphine Foucher le Lundi 27 Octobre 2014

How have 3D technologies advanced?

Active, passive, with or without glasses, numerous brands are working hard to develop the technologies to create 3D images.

In technical terms, the various offers in terms of 3D are expanding exponentially and are infiltrating various types of mediums, starting with screens.

In films of course, but also, since 2009 the demand of this technology for screens and monitors is increasing.

3D display also seems to be emerging in the mobile market.

Smartphones and 3D touch-screen tablets are still rare, but this is changing amongst some brands such as HTC, LG, or even Sharp.

In the tourism sector, initiatives are multiplying.

Nouvel Espace Display offers 3D Android tablets without glasses (see box), “an innovation Made in France that is little known to tourism professionals,” laments Alain Sayagh, the company’s Director.

However, the web, throughout various platforms, is attempting to build new dynamics to make way for three dimensional shapes.

How can companies benefit?

“The 3D world provides new perspectives on various levels, explains Jessica Pin, Manager of the Cantine Numérique in Brest.

It can be found in very different sectors, for various uses.”

Digital images for scientific research, medical, culture, its professional usages have no limits.

As proof, the very credible magazine The Economist considered 3D technologies the true “third industrial revolution,” capable of revolutionizing ways to produce and sell, along with employment policies.

The arrival of Oculus Rift

The true revolution comes from Facebook looking into the world of virtual reality.

By purchasing the company Oculus VR, and with it, Oculus Rift, the social network is planning to democratize the use of this tool, still a source of curiosity.

The Oculus Rift is a headset similar to ski goggles; it combines the technology of smartphones with that of motion capturers to provide similar sensations as watching an IMAX film.

For tourism, this is a godsend. Isn’t the job of the travel agent to make people dream?

Tested by our team during the IFTM-Top Resa on the Amadeus stand, these goggles could become the next mandatory gadget for travel agents.

In England, Thomas Cook, is currently testing the concept in stores to bring the virtual discovery of its tourist resort, Sentido. With corresponding sounds and smells to add to the experience.

Clients in the agency can test goggles for free that are programed to show a tropical paradise in 3D with 360 degree vision and that moves according to body movements.

The company is expecting to add virtual trips in New York and in the National Parks of the United States.

Look Voyages is seriously exploring the launch of an immersive visit system of its Lookéa clubs.

The agency’s Director, Serge Laurens, is even considering equipping the best-selling retail outlets with these devices, relates the Canadian tourism news outlet, Réseau veille Info Tourisme: “This would be a great opportunity to give back physical agencies a comparative advantage since clients would have to go to them for their virtual visit of the clubs,” he explains.

A strong immersion power

In order to bring Val d’Oise to fame beyond its borders and to promote tourism within the region, the General Council of Val d’Oise has doubled in imagination and innovation by using Oculus Rift in a project of virtual visits of the tourist sites of the region.

Then, a film directed in collaboration with Bertrand Levet (visages), introduces 7 highly touristic sites of Val d’Oise, (such as the La Roche Guyon Castle, or of Auvers-sur-Oise, the Enghien lake…) and offers a virtual discovery sufficiently attractive to spark a desire to explore Val d’Oise in person.

This innovation has one intention: incite Chinese tourists to visit Val d’Oise, by bringing a piece of Val d’Oise to China.

On top of its immersion power, Oculus would also allow to live incredible experiences, otherwise impossible: space travel, visiting places that can not longer be seen due to excessive tourist activity, such as the Lascaux caves or Machu Picchu.

A way to bring the touristic heritage to life.

Another example: the city of Townsville in Australia

Give the client a new experience

3D provides a wide array of possible uses.

Contents that pop out of screens on websites or tactile objects that awaken multiple senses, such are the future possible uses of this technology in the sector and online sales in general.

Internet users will experiment with new modes of navigation that will provide them with a more interactive experience while surfing online.

According to Skyscanner, Apple will develop a new generation of a smart watches, the iWatch, that will have 3D holographic images showing street views, shapes, and 3D versions of a stroll in a neighborhood, for example.

Before teleportation will be invented, a 3D heightened reality has the benefit of propelling the user into another world.

A tool to excite the desire to travel and make travel agencies even more connected.

3D without glasses and on a tablet!

This is a unique novelty that was developed in France by Nouvel Espace Display: an Android Tablet 10’’ that gives the user a 3D experience without needing to put on glasses.

This tablet, that costs 900 euros (available for leasing), is aimed at professionals primarily but also for the general public. It helps to highlight a product.

The company, expert in 3D screens for businesses, was able to seduce fields like cosmetics, but struggles to enter the tourism sector.

“I’m working with Havas, Thomas Cook, Selectour Afat on window displays. But this product, that is quite innovative, did not interest them.

In this sector, professionals are reluctant and unresponsive to new technologies,”
deplores Alain Sayagh, Director of Nouvel Espace Display.

Our team at i-tourisme has tested the products: the usual visual discomfort associated with 3D viewing disappears quickly and the effects are quite spectacular.

One obstacle however, 3D contents are still hard to find.

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