This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

You may not have to rely on staged photos and flattering angles to pick out your next vacation home in the near future. On December 11, Airbnb announced that it is exploring using virtual-reality headsets and smartphones to let you explore rentals before ever setting foot in them.

“Capabilities like 360 photos and 3D scans allow a person to step inside a home or city and understand what to expect and how to orient themselves before they leave the comfort of their own home,” the San Francisco-based company said in a press release. “Looking far into the future, virtual reality could allow guests to share more than a spreadsheet or email chain when planning travel together. Instead, they could share a virtual world together, perusing and touring destinations and home options while interacting in a more natural manner.”

The company’s also looking to incorporate services that would provide real-time information to travelers in augmented-reality displays that would perhaps overlay computer-generated data over real-world environments.

“Just think how welcome, pulling up  directions to the coffee mugs on a mobile device will be first thing in the morning,” the company said. “Or, instant translations on how to work that German thermostat.”

Airbnb offered no concrete rollout dates or promises of specific services, saying only that “we’re excited about continuing our work to test use cases, prototype and hack.” The company made clear it wasn’t promising that anything would come of its experiments at all: “We want to make sure anything we introduce really brings value.”

VR has been something of a buzzword this year, with more and more media companies offering movies optimized for VR headsets and VR still a draw in the gaming industry. Still, the hefty price for headsets (the granddaddy of the bunch, the Oculus Rift, only dropped from $599 to $399 this past October), meaning potential Airbnb’s VR services would only be practical for a relatively small number of its users, at least at first.

Feature photo by recep-bg / Getty Images

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.