15 Tech Innovations That Will Change the Way You Travel

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T+L’s technology correspondent reports on travel trends, apps, and gadgets from the latest SXSW Interactive digital conference.

Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Gets Real

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Imagine exploring realistically rendered 3-D replicas of real-world locations such as Angkor Wat—without mosquitoes or tour bus hordes. Way beyond what’s currently available on Second Life and Google Earth, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset may be aimed at gamers, but it has clear potential for virtual tourism. At SXSW we tried a Game of Thrones–themed demo, and wherever we turned our heads that’s what we saw: 360 degrees of sky and precipitous cliffs (all while avoiding flying arrows). The addition of synchronized wind and rumbling effects—not unlike what can be found on motion simulator rides—made for a truly immersive and startling experience. A home version is due out in 2015.

15 Tech Innovations That Will Change the Way You Travel

Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Gets Real

Imagine exploring realistically rendered 3-D replicas of real-world locations such as Angkor Wat—without mosquitoes or tour bus hordes. Way beyond what’s currently available on Second Life and Google Earth, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset may be aimed at gamers, but it has clear potential for virtual tourism. At SXSW we tried a Game of Thrones–themed demo, and wherever we turned our heads that’s what we saw: 360 degrees of sky and precipitous cliffs (all while avoiding flying arrows). The addition of synchronized wind and rumbling effects—not unlike what can be found on motion simulator rides—made for a truly immersive and startling experience. A home version is due out in 2015.

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