While we often cover brands working to create the next best VR experience that consumers and core enthusiasts can enjoy, one barrier to entry has always been the ability to access and view the content. Marriott Hotels may have just the answer for that and is providing guests with an amenity that could introduce virtual reality to a whole new group of individuals.
Marriott has announced Wednesday that it has launched a new two-week trial of what they are calling “VRoom Service”, allowing guests to order virtual reality experiences that can be enjoyed from the comfort of their own rooms.
Created in collaboration with Samsung Electronics America, “VRoom Service” invites hotel guests to call a dedicated extension or use Marriott’s Mobile Request app to request a Samsung Gear VR headset and accompanying headphones delivered straight to your room. The entire delivery fits neatly into a box that comes with easy-to-use instructions printed on the inside and will be available on loan to guests for up to 24-hours.
The VR program is currently being tested for two weeks at the New York Marriott Marquis and London Marriott Park Lane properties.
In conjunction with the VR headset loaner program, Marriott will be serving up “VR Postcards” as part of the content platform viewable on the headset, developed in conjunction with Framestore’s Virtual Reality Studio. The first three 360-degree 3D VR postcards will bring guests to the Andes Mountains in Chile, an ice cream shop in Rwanda, and a bustling street in Beijing, each following a real traveler on their journey as they tell their personal travel story.
For those of us not planning to stay at one of these two hotels in the next two week, the VR Postcards will also be made available via Samsung’s Milk VR service on the Gear VR headset.
Samsung’s first mover advantage on developing a consumer friendly mobile VR headset appears to be paying off. With the headsets features of portability and ease of operation, we have seen retail brands like 7 For All Mankind and TOMS create single installations in their stores. The recent trend of group VR viewings allows the Gear VR headset to shine even more. Much like we had seen at the Kaleidoscope VR film festival or at the Comic-Con Strain experience, the simple ability to manage VR experiences by each individual phone instead of multiple computers is proving to be scalable and convenient.
The latest VR loaner test program at these two Marriott Hotels is sure to be just the start of companies and brands making it easier than ever to introduce the world to virtual reality, and showing you exactly what they want you to see in the process.