The different ways people are using augmented reality (virtually imposing digital images onto a physical scene) and Apple’s new ARkit has been fascinating. From virtual pets, to real-time filters, painting and tape measuring, augmented reality is a wave of the future, and one designer is trying to push Airbnb into it. While it’s still in the concept design phase, they have created an overlay for showing guests around to their new rental. As you walk around your getaway home for the first time, your phone will give you a tour of the house, letting you know the important features, like where the first aid kit is and how to use the thermostat. Augmented reality will recognize your precise location, and tell you exactly where to go to find all the important features of the house (like a thermostat, for example). Once you walk up to the thermostat, you could read a note, pinned there by the Airbnb, which would explain how it works and various other things to keep in mind.
Isil Uzum is the designer of the concept. His goal is to use the built in smart phone’s location sensor and pair that with the ARKit (Apple) or Project Tango (Google). in addition, all of the notes will be listed in the Airbnb app, so you don’t have to go searching around the house like you’re looking for buried treasure (unless you’re into that sort of thing) or wonder if you’ve found all the notes the homeowner left for you. Instead, you push the note, hold out your phone, and it will direct you precisely where to go in the house. Once you’ve found the spot (or buried treasure, depending on how you look at it), a note will pop up on giving more explanations and detail.
The concept still has a lot of hurdles to overcome and bugs to fix, with the main issue being matching the location of the renter to the correct spot in the house. This level of accuracy requires more than just your smart phone’s location software. Instead, it will probably require something much more precise, like geotagging. The standard AR reality spatial tracking just won’t be powerful enough. Instead, it will need a much more powerful tool, like a Bluetooth beacon.
While it may seem new, not all of this technology is in its concept phase. Tagging virtual notes to physical spaces is something that has previously been explored. Microsoft has already made use for this on construction sites with their Hololens. But among all of the possible uses for this technology, Airbnb may have found a helpful feature to attract more guests to use their site. Airbnb has not officially started this add-on feature yet.But it is something they may want to be looking into for future use. Right now it’s just “an area we’re currently exploring”, one Airbnb spokesperson told Cnet.