The dream of teleportation has long captivated our imaginations, offering a swift escape from mundane commutes and awkward situations. Although true teleportation remains elusive, Marriott hotels in New York have introduced an innovative way to experience the next best thing. They’ve set up “The Teleporter,” a travel booth that immerses users in virtual journeys to far-off destinations, with sensory experiences that make it eerily similar to the real thing.
Marriott’s “Teleporter” was designed to provide an extraordinary virtual travel experience in the heart of New York. This phone-booth-like gadget is equipped with Oculus Rift technology and various sensory gadgets, enabling users to journey to different locations.
To begin their virtual adventure, users enter the booth, don a virtual reality headset, and wear wireless headphones. Once inside, they’re transported to places like London’s Tower 42 or the black sand beaches of Hawaii. What sets “The Teleporter” apart is its attention to sensory details. Users can feel the heat, wind, and mist, replicating the authentic features of the location they’re exploring. Whether it’s London’s drizzle or the spray from the Pacific Ocean in Maui, the booth recreates it all.
The technology used in “The Teleporter” is truly immersive, with 4D elements that control temperature and stimulate your senses. Pneumatic pumps in the booth’s floor recreate the sensation of the ground beneath your feet while misting nozzles mimic weather conditions. Heat fans produce breezes and temperature variations. A “scent dispenser” further enhances the experience, making it feel as though you’re truly in the destination.
Marriott collaborated with Relevant and Framestore to create this cutting-edge virtual travel experience. Framestore, an Academy Award-winning VR firm, played a significant role in bringing the visual effects to life. Ian Cleary, Relevant’s VP of Innovation, described the booth as an “amusement park crammed into a closet.”
The idea behind Marriott’s “Teleporter” is to engage younger travelers and build credibility with them. Michael Dail, Marriott’s VP of global brand marketing, explained that while the technology had been available for some time, they wanted to make it accessible and mainstream. They aimed to offer a more immersive and experiential way for people to connect with the true essence of travel.
Back in 2014, when the booth was introduced, there was hope that it might revolutionize travel planning and exploration. While we’re not using virtual booths for vacation decisions just yet, it’s exciting to imagine how this technology might evolve in the future.
With continued advancements in virtual reality and sensory experiences, it’s possible that we may someday come closer to fulfilling the dream of teleportation.