Travel to exotic locales can be expensive, inconvenient, and perhaps even dangerous or impossible.
Using the same technology that companies like Google use to get street view images (now available in 40-lb backpack format as well: https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&sa=1&q=google+street+view+camera ), we can set up a scenario where you can conduct tourism by proxy using a VR headset.
This would work as follows:
- You submit a request online, like “I’d like to see the pyramids of Giza.”
- Someone who is already in the vicinity accepts your request. You pay them and they put on a panoramic street view camera.
- You then call them up and perform the VR equivalent of a Skype / FaceTime / Hangouts call.
- The tour guide will either walk around on their own, or perhaps take requests from the remote viewer.
Fig. 1: This fashionable individual in a VR headset is standing comfortably at home while getting a VR tour of Egyptian pyramids, which is directed by the person in Figure 2.
Fig. 2: This “VR tour guide” is carrying the cameras and microphones so that the individual in Figure 1 can get an immersive real-time VR tour of the pyramids.
Fig. 3: In addition to enabling extremely lazy travelers, VR tours could be used to experience otherwise difficult or impossible environments.
Eco-friendly final point:
This technology would also reduce the amount of energy expended on travel (particularly via airplane), which both saves fuel and also reduces the number of greenhouse gasses generated.
PROS: Saves time, money, and the environment.
CONS: Might negatively impact revenue at certain difficult-to-access tourist destinations like Machu Picchu.