×

Marriott Tests In-Room Virtual Reality Service

Marriott is giving travelers in New York and London the chance to try out bleeding-edge virtual reality tech in the privacy of their hotel rooms.

The global hotel chain has launched a limited test of “VRoom Service” in partnership with Samsung Electronics. It’s currently testing the VR service, for which guests can have a Samsung Gear VR headset delivered to their room and borrow it for 24 hours, over the next two weeks at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square and the London Marriott Hotel Park Lane.

However, the virtual-reality content Marriott’s guests will be able to roam through will be limited to only three “VR Postcards” commissioned by the chain. Those videos, shot in 360-degree 3D, each follow real travelers on a different journeys, taking viewers to Chile’s Andes mountains, an ice-cream shop in Rwanda and Beijing’s bustling streets.

What’s the point? Marriott styles itself as leading the hospitality industry in adopting media and entertainment technologies, and its VR experiment is more about positioning the brand as a preferred destination for digital natives than anything else. Earlier this summer, the company announced a pact with Netflix to let subscribers of the video service log in to HDTVs at select hotels, and Marriott also has been developing original entertainment content for travelers.

VRoom “combines storytelling with technology, two things that are important to next-generation travelers,” said Matthew Carroll, Marriott’s VP of global brand management.

In addition to the in-room VR service, Marriott’s VR Postcards will be available via the Samsung Milk VR video service, accessible via the Samsung Gear VR headset developed with Facebook’s Oculus VR division. Marriott worked with Framestore’s Virtual Reality Studio to develop the technologies and techniques used to create the VR Postcards.

Last year Marriott staged a promotional event with the Marriott Teleporter, which let visitors virtually travel to London and Hawaii by stepping inside specially built kiosks.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Is Testing Human-Curated 'Collections'

    Netflix, a company powered by the strategic use of data, relies on artificial intelligence to suggest new content that its streaming customers are likely to be interested in. Now it’s looking to potentially add a human touch: The company has launched a limited-scale test of “Collections,” a new feature that presents groups of movies and [...]

  • wolves in the walls emmy

    Neil Gaiman VR Experience 'Wolves in the Walls' Wins Primetime Emmy

    “Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating [...]

  • The Void San Francisco

    The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

    James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer. Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • Former head of CAA China Peter

    Peter Loehr to Spearhead Asia Expansion of Genies Avatar Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Loehr, the former head of CAA in China, and seasoned music executive John Possman have been tapped by digital avatar company Genies to lead its expansion into Asia. The company’s proprietary avatar technology allows users to express ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different way from text, audio and video. Within the app and [...]

  • Tim Connolly - Quibi

    Quibi Head of Partnerships and Advertising Tim Connolly Departs

    Tim Connolly, the former Hulu exec who joined Quibi last year as head of partnerships and advertising, is leaving the mobile TV subscription startup founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. Connolly’s exit comes eight months ahead of Quibi’s planned April 2020 debut. A Quibi rep declined to comment on his departure, which was first reported by Business [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content