Tech’s Fourth Wave Meets Travel

What’s Next for Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality

Tech’s Fourth Wave Meets Travel Published March 2017 Analyst: Cathy Walsh


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Whether you call it digital reality, altered reality, an immersive experience, the fourth wave or simply AR/VR/MR, excitement over technologies that digitally augment or simulate reality has reached a fever pitch. Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the hybrid mixed reality (MR) are related, but distinct, concepts that hold significant potential for travel, tourism and hospitality. While AR and VR have been around for a while in rudimentary forms, recent developments have dramatically improved the technology, and major players are investing heavily. Despite some setbacks, there are many signs that point to rapid development in the coming years. Key technology companies, including Facebook, have invested in virtual reality, the quality of virtual reality experiences is improving, and the wild success of Pokemon Go suggests that the right product can fuel rapid adoption of augmented reality. This article highlights key developments and future prospects and identifies key opportunities for travel companies, including inspiration and demand generation, social shopping, upsell/cross-sell opportunities and new revenue streams.

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • What Travel Companies Can Learn from the Pokemon Go Phenomenon
    • AR Will Be Bigger Than VR
    • Mobile is the Watchword
    • Virtual Products Yield Real Dollars
    • Small Steps Can Lead to Giant Leaps
  • Conclusion
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