When you are browsing Airbnb and you really like the place you would like to stay in, photos do not always seem to justify how amazing the space can actually be. In a bid to empower its guests, hosts and local communities, Airbnb wants to implement virtual reality to give tenants an immersive preview of potential accommodation and augmented reality to enhance the experience after you arrive.
Airbnb announced early December that it is in the beginning stages of adding VR and AR to its services, predicting their own use of 360º photos and 3D scan to let tenants explore homes and cities before they arrive. The augmented reality will assist travellers by throwing up contextual information such as 'directions to the coffee mugs' or 'instant translations on how to work that German thermostat'.
It is also hoped that the augmented reality might breathe life into the space for the tenant, allowing them to get to know the city they are staying in. The announcement for the updated feature to the Airbnb app came after they conducted a similar experience in a collaboration with Muller van Severen during the Design Miami 2017 event. The Belgian design duo offered an intimate exploration of their shared home by duplicating it in Miami and hosting precise replicas of treasured objects accompanied by recorded scenes sharing their deeper meanings.
Airbnb has not announced exactly when these new features will be released and stress that any new functionality added to the app will require "experimentation, iteration, and technological evolution," and most importantly, time.
In the meantime, you can have a look at the Airbnb concept idea in the video below.