Web, Mobile and VR
Book Tours & Activities
Lonely Planet leverages 360 Stories' AR/VR technology to offer unforgettable immersive experiences
The tired and uninspired advertising models in the tourism industry are falling further and further behind the increasingly innovative tourism experiences they try to promote. As travel purveyors continue to rely on stock images and generic text to draw in consumers, potential clients are sent down the proverbial internet rabbit hole in search of useful information regarding potential experiences.
Cognizant of these limitations, AR/VR experience startup 360 Stories, which maintains offices in New York and Yerevan, is on a mission to reframe how tours are traditionally marketed; providing tourists with new and meaningful experiences to discover. By providing partners with a 360-degree content platform for online booking, customers can access one-day tours and attractions stand out in a market saturated with competition and gutted by a lack of innovation. 360 Stories’ platform echoes a larger shift towards VR/AR technology as a viable marketing tool within the travel industry, as consumers are drawn towards the more engaging and accurate visualizations of bookable experiences that 360-degree vantages provide.
360 Stories has expanded significantly since their inception in 2015. In 2019, the company signed a strategic partnership with world-renown travel guide Lonely Planet that would integrate all of 360 content from their platform with Lonely Planet Mobile apps. Additional partners include GetYourGuide, Tiqets, and Headout. Their coverage continues to expand, currently encompassing 29 destinations worldwide and 1,400 bookable experiences across cities such as NYC, LA, Miami, Berlin, Singapore, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Dubai to name a few. 360 Stories also features partners’ content through virtual reality booking experiences at hotels, airport business lounges, cruise ships, and on in-flight entertainment systems.
Beyond using their content as supplementary marketing material, 360 Stories is in the process of building their own mobile Augmented Reality software development kit. This platform will power integrations with B2B partners to sample and book immersive experiences through the 360 Stories AR portal as users roam destinations in real-time. The application of this tech is on the near horizon, as the startup is currently in discussions with a leading social messaging app to integrate their content through their AR Lenses.
As these partnerships and applications come to fruition, leveraging Edge computing solutions will be imperative. Delivering interactive videos to users in real time will benefit from close range servers: “imagine a tourist standing in the middle of Times Square” explains 360 Stories CEO Albert Poghosyan, “For them to get the most out of our interactive VR experiences, these data-heavy video files need to be cached on servers within New York City itself. By deploying on the Edge, we can provide customers with instant and seamless access to our immersive library of multimedia content in real time.”
But Albert says we’re just scratching the surface of AR/VR technology’s potential to fundamentally disrupt the tourism market. He paints a picture of a near future where tourists could book personalized private walking tours of New York City landmarks guided and narrated by Frank Sinatra - brought back to life through AR glasses. The only limit now is our imagination.