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Marriott Hotels Testing Virtual Reality Service For Guests

10 September 2015, 10:50 am EDT By Lauren Keating Tech Times
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Marriott Hotels in New York and London rolled out a new virtual reality experience in collaboration with Samsung that will allow guests to 'travel' to entirely different locations from the comfort of their hotel rooms.  ( Marriott Hotels )

Everyone deserves a vacation from time to time — a much-needed break from everyday stressors, to relax and expand on personal traveling experience. And now guests who book a room at Marriott hotels can further escape reality by requesting virtual reality service during their stay.

Marriott announced on Wednesday that it is currently testing a VR experience called "VRoom Service," that was created in collaboration with Samsung Electronics.

A first in the travel industry, VRoom Service allows guests staying at the New York Marriott Marquis and London Marriott Park Lane hotels to request a Samsung Gear VR headset and headphones – via the VRoom Service extension or through the hotel's Mobile Request app – which are then hand-delivered to their rooms, where they can use them for up to 24 hours.

"VRoom Service is one of the first business applications of Samsung's Gear VR technology," said Matt Apfel, VP of strategy and creative content at Samsung Media Solutions Center America, in a press release. "We're tremendously excited to be collaborating with an innovative brand like Marriott on creating the future for travelers."

The two Marriott properties will let guests request the Samsung Gear for the next two weeks, which will intoduce them to a new virtual travel platform called "VR Postcards."

Marriott teamed up with Framestore's Virtual Reality Studio to develop VR Postcards, which features stories from real travelers. The viewer gets to see places like the Andes Mountains in Chile, an ice cream shop in Rwanda and the streets of Beijing in 3D with 360-degree views. It's an innovative way to "travel" to new places, right from the comfort of your own hotel room in an entirely different location.

"Travel expands our minds and helps push our imagination," said VP of Marriott Hotels Matthew Carroll in the press release. "Our guests want to be in inventive spaces that help foster their creativity and thinking. VRoom combines storytelling with technology, two things that are important to next generation travelers."

VR Postcards will be available for hotel guests who use VRoom Service at participating properties, and publicly through Samsung's Milk VR premium video service for those with the Samsung Gear headset.

(Photo : Samsung)

This latest technological integration comes as Marriott continues to make itself the leader in media and entertainment for the hospitality industry. Marriott previously revealed that it's teaming up with Netflix to let guests stream from the platform through their hotel TV.

The hotel chain also held a 4D virtual reality travel experience event with the Marriott Teleporter, enabling guests to "travel" to London and Hawaii through its kiosks.

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