Virtual Reality and virtual tourism are the next big things to take the world by storm; and now one organisation has taken the first step towards taking the idea of VR from expos and conventions to provide an actual service to consumers to turn their dreams to virtual reality. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) have launched an app, which will be able to ‘transport’ people to various destinations around the city of Las Vegas.
The LVCVA launched this Virtual Reality Companion app to demonstrate to would-be visitors and trade show delegates what it is like to experience the many popular attractions of the Entertainment Capital of the World.
About the LVCVA
The LVCVA is a governmental agency; run by 14 board of directors from northern and southern cities and six private sector members, who represent the hotel industry. The LVCVA serves to promote Las Vegas as the most exciting place of business and leisure in the world. During the 1950’s when they noticed a dip in customer numbers over certain times of the week and year, LVCVA decided to hold conventions in the city to generate visitors for these unpopular time slots. On April 29, 1959, the Las Vegas Convention Center officially opened with a 20 rotunda, 18 meeting rooms and a 90,000-square-foot exhibit hall and attracted 22,519 delegates in their first year; Now, Las Vegas regularly hosts more than 22,000 conventions serving 5.2 million visitors annually.
Keeping with this electronic era, this VR technology connects the customers more directly to the Las Vegas experience; they have the opportunity to place people, from anywhere in the globe, inside various Vegas locations to participate first-hand.
They showcased virtual reality through the Oculus Rift, a technology company that, develops, builds and distributes virtual reality head-mounted display units. They Rift promises to provide a 3D immersive experience unlike any other; with state of the art optics and displays, the high refresh rate promises to provide incredible visual fidelity. This particular piece of machinery was also used to provide a ‘sense of presence’ during the ITB travel trade show in Berlin, Germany.
“Virtual reality is the future of vacation planning,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the LVCVA. “Users are able to explore what Las Vegas has to offer in a virtual setting and gain the excitement needed to book their own Las Vegas adventure.”
The ongoing try to improve Vegas
This is not the LVCVA’s first attempt to try and facilitate a closer Las Vegas experience to customers over the internet, they launched a series of 360 degree videos last year as part of the brand's online GeoVegas experience; the addition of these head-mounted display units will attempt to make the experience even more immersive.
The Virtual Reality Companion app will allow consumers to download the Vegas VR experience onto their smartphones by visiting itb.vrtv.vegas; which will includes 12 immersive Las Vegas virtual reality experiences that can be viewed directly on the smartphone or for the lucky few with a Google Cardboard or Oculus Rift , can use their VR viewer for a more exciting experience. The LVCVA announced that they will continue to add to the library of experiences in the coming weeks and months to ensure the service remains attractive and continue to grow in popularity.