Prototyping - Wire-Framing - Visual Design Systems - Strategic Thinking - Research - 4D Design - UX - UI - Graphic Design
Travel! So fun, so educational, so humbling. Yet, so unaccessible.
Not everybody has the ability to travel.
It is likely that you or somebody you may know at one point of their life has been unable to travel, to go on a vacation, attend an event, explore a different country, or maybe even leave their own house. Whether it is because of financial, physical, or other restrictions, this is something that happens very often. Travel can be expensive, stressful, and unaccessible.
How do we make it easier and more accessible?
If you can’t physically get there, what’s the next best thing?
For this project I decided to explore a field that I had never played in before-virtual travel. An exploration: the meeting point of a digital platform and virtual reality in order to promote tourism and increase its accessibility.
In result, I created my own digital brand, called 360+, that provides you with the opportunity to experience different landmarks and events through a VR experience. The application that I will be creating is both educational and experiential-it informs you about any location of your interest, allows you to experience it, and can also help you plan a trip. It allows those who are unable to travel to experience something beautiful without physically needing to be present.
Solution: VIRTUAL REALITY, PAIRED WITH A DIGITAL PLATFORM
Combining an application on your phone with virtual travel.
Virtual Reality: A totally immersive experience replacing the “real” world with an alternate one. Interaction with, and movement through, the alternate world via six degrees of freedom is almost always required.
360: A spherical video allowing the user to see in all directions, though there is no freedom to interact with, or move throughout the imagery.
It is called 360+ because you interact with beyond just an image, you get immersed in an experience. It isn’t just a 360 image where you can look around, but rather a space that you can enter and interact with*.
*you need the headset to use the VR part of the digital platform.
360+ is a digital brand that focuses around tourism and provides you with the opportunity to experience different landmarks and events through a Virtual Reality experience.
In the application, you can scroll through the available locations, when you click it it tells you about the location itself and has a couple of pictures, and then you have the ability do the VR tour. Since you need a headset to enter the virtual experience, this will be available not only to those who own one, but at locations with high foot traffic ( such as malls), not only to push the idea further but to give people who do not have the technology themselves an opportunity to experience it. Last but not least there is a booking option in partnership with Expedia so if people are interested in a location, they can be redirected to a place that they can aid them make a plan and make a reservation. Because the point is to promote tourism. Because it isn’t just a 360 image where you can look around, but rather a space that you can enter and interact with you would need the headset to use the VR part of the digital platform. Hence the name 360+.
- Information on locations - Booking Options - Online Store - VR Pairing (available with headset) - Recording Experiences -
BROWSING BOOKING PREVIOUS TRIPS + ONLINE SHO
During the on-boarding process you have to create a profile, and customize your avatar. Your avatar is how you will look in the virtual spaces.
You can look up or scroll through all of the locations available for travel and pick the one you want. For my use case, I am picking an event that happens in my home country, Bulgaria, every year-The Bulgarian Rose Festival.
To further promote tourism, there is a booking option in partnership with Expedia so if people are interested in a location, they can be redirected to a place that they can aid them make a plan and make a reservation.
You can view your past Virtual trips that you have taken, and even go buy souvenirs from them in the online store. In the future, the store will also be in the virtual space via virtual shopping.
To give objective to the experience, I created a simple game of collecting the purple roses as you walk through the tracks and explore the landmarks. The point is to incentivize the users to walk around and explore each experience further, without pointlessly walking around. The more purple roses you collect, the more points you get that you can use towards the online gift store. Each location will have a different, yet similar simple task to add a mission to exploring.
THE VIRTUAL EXPERIENce
To create the virtual space itself, I first designed all of the objects I would need in Cinema-4D, then imported
them into Unity and created a space.
VIDEOS OF PEOPLE INTERACTING WITH EXPERIENCE COMING SOON.
FROM OBJECTS IN CINEMA-4D TO VR SPACE IN UNITY
WHERE CAN THIS EXPERIENCE LIVE?
Since not everybody has access to VR headwear, 360+ will also exist out-of-home to ensure that others get to experience it as well. Places with high foot traffic, such as malls and outdoor events (festivals, sports games) are two perfect examples where 360+ could work. There will be a 360+ tent that people could go in and emerge themselves in the experience. They would be asked to download the application, and connect it to the headset. That way, they can still have the application on their phone and access its other features until they next connect to a VR headset.
The secondary colors are subtones of the primary colors, and will be used for larger visual components, like side bars, fill colors, buttons, and certain text. The point is to keep everything uniform so by keeping them the same hue as the primary colors, I can ensure that the brand will have a consistent look and feel throughout.
In certain situations, the logo may also incorporate some of the secondary colors.
360+ takes pride in the ability to virtually bring you anywhere in the world. Which is why the brand colors and overall tone are inspired from the Earth, travel, and adventure. Green is a calming tone which is often associated with abundance, balance, calm, growth, health, nature, and most of all grounding. Yellow means adventure, new beginnings, and renewal. The goal is for the users to associate the brand with
adventure, making them drawn them to all of the new places, events, and experiences, that the platform
gives them the ability to explore.
The primary colors are used for icons, buttons, and smaller visual components. What color is used depends on what page it is for.
Some possible examples of what 360+ could look like in the future include:
Exploring beyond just Earth
Perhaps taking it to other planets and letting people experience them
Pairing with a indoor sky-diving place to enhance sensation of no gravity
Traveling with friends
Being able to host and attend events with friends who aren’t physically with you.
Tasting dishes from different nations
Face electrodes let you taste and chew in VR
Could boom in the cooking industry
Partnership with stores and virtual shopping (coming soon in the States)
Virtual shopping is the concept of using virtual and augmented reality in traditional retail or e-commerce. For example, it allows to:
walk through the store, look at different items while sitting in your couch and using virtual reality headset
try the clothes or accessories on while being at home or in the store via augmented reality
scan the QR code of some product to get additional information about it in AR
Open a 360+ cafe, dedicated to Virtual Travel.
RICK PLAUTZ, Adjunct professor at VCU Brandcenter, 3D generalist, motion designer
“I like the idea of being able to travel places that people wouldn't be able to go to easily. I can see this also being more or a guided tour where the user doesn't have to worry about controlling anything. I've seen a similar idea like this used in nursing homes to let seniors travel around the world or to see their home towns.
Conceptually, it could be cool to use images of the moon or Mars and pitch it as a vacation spot - just for fun. There are plenty of 360 images of the moon or Mars - but what about some kind of galactic gift shop? Could be cool to include all the same tourist-y tropes of places on Earth but stretch it to places that are either a fantasy or not realistic.
I like the VR-only gift shop too. What about just having a selection of actual gifts you could buy at the Bulgarian Rose Festival that you could buy online after seeing it? I don't think you'd need to expressly say "I didn't actually go but here's this..." I think part of the conceit of VR is that, if it works really well, you don't feel like you watched something or put a headset on. The memory you walk away with is that you were actually there. So why not also get a souvenir?”
Consider a guided tour for the future
Play around with different planets
Linda Kirova (XD)