Imagining the concierge service of the future for Four Seasons, Tokyo using virtual reality and the HTC Vive.
Luxury travelers often find it difficult to research and navigate a new city, particularly when traveling abroad.
How can we enable the more natural creation of an intuitive travel itinerary in order to assist these travelers?
Create a room-scale, interactive VR experience that creates a sense of immersive presence for travelers, allowing them to become familiar with their new surroundings from the comfort of the hotel. This virtual concierge service will be offered as a luxury amenity that naturally complements the Four Seasons brand.
Creating the digital concierge of the future
Through research, I developed a target consistent with the Four Season’s brand: the Western Luxury Business Traveler (WLBT). Using a design persona and user journey, I was able to pin-point the needs of this traveler and begin to design for him.
With the WLBT in mind, I created an immersive VR concierge named Sherpa. Sherpa uses proximity, scale, and direction to allow the user to feel fully immersed in the itinerary creation tool. When the user leaves the lobby, he or she will have a realistic connection to the buildings and points of interest that were seen in the VR representation of the city.
Here is a demo of the final medium fidelity prototype. It emphasizes the spatial and proximity relationship that allows the WLBT to gain a sense of place, in addition to the information gathering systems that interactively allow for itinerary creation.
Iteratively Designing for the VR Space
Given the relatively new nature of immersive media and room-scale VR, designing for the UX, UI, and IxD involved a significant amount of iteration, testing, and trial and error. I began with 2D sketches, illustrating 3D UX considerations such as implied physical/spatial awareness, directional perception, proximity relationships, and visual recognition and memory imprint. From there, I wrote notes on ideas relating to the UX, UI, and IxD of information sorting in the 3D space.
With my intial sketches in place, I created a series of simple interaction prototypes using Sketch and Principle as a means rapidly and inexpensively determining key considerations before moving into the 3D prototype. I then began creating 3D assets in Cinema 4D using the learnings from my simple 2D sketches and prototypes. Once these assets were created, I was able to begin iteratively prototyping in Unity using Newton VR, Steam VR, and the HTC Vive. User Testing allowed me to further refine the prototype, refining interactions and the overall user experience.
A list of team members and their roles