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Airbnb will add VR previews of rooms and cities

Take an immersive peek of places you want to reserve.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
December 11, 2017
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Airbnb has been expanding to serve users' other needs, from partnering with WeWork to find desks for traveling customers to investing in apartment complexes for season-length rentals. But the company isn't neglecting its main rental service. Today, Airbnb announced it has plans to implement the cool technologies du jour -- virtual and augmented reality -- to give tenants a closer look at the rooms they're looking to reserve.

Airbnb is still in the early stages of adding VR and AR to its services and only has broad plans for adding the fancy new immersive tech. In a blog post, the company predicted it will use virtual reality before a trip, using 360 photos and 3D scans to let tenants wander through homes -- and cities -- to orient themselves before leaving. Then, augmented reality features will help acclimate travelers during trips, pointing out how things work (like unlocking doors) and translating signage. It can also add local cultural context.

Obviously, this is more aspirational than specific, and we expect to hear just how Airbnb plans to implement VR and AR with its services. Or perhaps who they plan to partner with to bring its immersive ideas into its feature set.

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