Life at Expedia Group Blog
You Can’t Spell ‘Wander’ Without AR
DJ Harman | App Engagement Lead, Expedia Group in Dallas, Texas
Have you ever wanted to travel with a celebrity? How about seeing snowfall on the beach? Build a sandcastle indoors? Add Wander Wisely™ branded frames to your photos?
(It was that last one that sold you, wasn’t it?)
Well, you can do all that and more with the Travelocity app! We’re very excited to announce the release of Expedia Group’s first augmented reality (AR) experience featuring the wisest wanderer of them all, The Roaming Gnome™!
Below is a preview but you should really download/open the Travelocity app (featured live on both Android and iOS) to have the full experience for yourself.
WARNING: more fun/addicting than you might expect…
This seems cool and all, but why Augmented Reality?
AR is an emerging technology that Apple’s Tim Cook calls “potentially as important as the iPhone.” It’s expected to have over 1 billion users by next year – and already, 60% to 70% of consumers see clear benefits in using AR in their daily life and at work. It’s a greenfield of opportunity endemic to both mobile and travel.
What better home for it than our apps, and what better way to smoke test our customers’ interest than by bringing our beloved Roaming Gnome to life with it? If this proof of concept yields high engagement, then it justifies further investment and development of more utilitarian AR features for Expedia Group apps.
As Krista McDougal (GM, Travelocity) puts it, experimenting with AR is “a way to engage and inspire travelers beyond our points of sale. The Travelocity AR camera allows our customers to have fun with the brand throughout their travel journey, and we look forward to seeing how travelers engage with the experience and share it with friends and family.”