When we consider travel, what often springs to mind is long airport queues, uncomfortable naps, unbearable heat and, in many cases, hotel rooms that struggle – or, of course, totally fail – to live up to their pictures. What we don’t think of, however, is the quiet Sunday afternoon by the fire, or the mid-week evening in the very depths of winter.
Increasingly, however, a new trend toward virtual travel is undergoing a transformation – one that has been simmering away since the very advent of the world wide web, more than twenty years ago.
In a recent article from The Telegraph, for instance, it was revealed that virtual travel is only set to increase as VR technology facilitates more creativity from developers, and more interest from those who would rather explore the world in comfort.
The concept of travelling the world via digital mediums is, however, nothing new. While many of us may not realise it, we have all been exploring the world from our computers and phones for many years – in some cases, more than two decades. Read more about this below.
Echoes Across the Entire Tech Industry, Not Just VR
Those wanting to travel the world without actually ‘entering into it’ needn’t own an expensive, top of the range virtual reality headset in order to do so. The fascinating thing about virtual travel is that it has been simmering away as a subgenre of the world wide web since its inception. What’s more, as technology grows more refined, the ephemeral concept of virtual travel continues to find new ways of existing, and offering internet users a different vantage point from which to take in and appreciate the world.
Take, for instance, the online casino. Sites like www.mansioncasino.com/nz are able to operate entirely within the virtual realm, and yet they are also able to evoke near-tangible memories of their real-life counterparts – or, perhaps more accurately, their predecessors, as it would appear that this digital genre has now well and truly surpassed the original.
The gaming world offers many more examples of utilising the medium for exploration, such as Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2020, which gives players autonomy over a digital plane. Players can make their own way from Auckland to the UK, and stop to experience any of the world’s most breath-taking locations that take their fancy.
Beyond the gaming world, however, there are many more examples. The digitalisation of once-exclusive events, such as live theatrical performances and fashion shows, for example, means that those sitting in their living rooms half the world away can appreciate culture as-it-happens, rather than days or years after the fact.
In essence, the internet facilitates a new level of exploration – one that, in many ways, blurs the boundaries between the real and the fictitious.
How VR Can Take it Further
While virtual reality has long since grown more or less synonymous with gaming, its potential extends far beyond one industry. The fashion industry, for instance, has already adopted VR into its creative processes, and as technology grows more refined – and, correspondingly, an increasing number of people invest into their own headsets – the travel industry, and a wide variety of creative professions, can finally explore its full potential.
Already, a long list of travel experiences based solely within virtual reality have begun to make their entrance onto popular culture, and to connect ‘travellers’ with far flung corners of the globe that may once have been entirely inaccessible.
We can anticipate some incredible developments in the world of VR over the coming months and years, and a great boon for the fledgling virtual travel industry as technology takes us all to new heights.