Co-funder Broomx Technologies

Ignasi Capellà

Founded just 3 years ago, the Barcelona start-up company Broomx Technologies is revolutionising the world of virtual reality (VR), and the tourism sector has not hesitated to join them. Thanks to their MK Player360 projector, VR has stopped being just an individual experience; it is now possible to enjoy this immersive technology in any space and in the company of others. A hotel room, for example, can be converted into a marine environment where one can go swimming or even a spacecraft to fly over the Earth, without even getting out of bed. One of the founding members of the Catalan company, Ignasi Capellà, explains what their invention consists of in more detail as well as how it will change our tourism experiences in the future.

"Tourism is one of those sectors where innovation is crucial and changes happen fast."

At Broomx you are offering a completely new product, projected virtual reality. What does it consist of exactly?

Many science fiction films have come up with technologies capable of transforming spaces and which allow people to travel without leaving their room. In Broomx we have turned this dream into a reality! Our MK Player360 is the first virtual reality projector in the world which is able to create immersive experiences that completely transform a room or space into one that you want. In addition to the projections, it has the ability to stimulate other senses such as by diffusing smells, LED lights that change colour or beds that move. It has endless possibilities and various applications but the result is always spectacular.

Many people associate virtual reality with the world of gaming. How can it be applied to the travel sector?

Virtual reality has many applications in very distinct sectors. Gaming has been the first niche in which it has had an impact, but this technology is also now being used by many different industries such as the automotive, real estate, education and health sectors. In tourism, virtual reality has begun to be used in recent years with various objectives: from travel agencies to present destinations and offers to their clients; hotels and resorts that apply this technology as a tool to sell complementary activities and services from the hotel or to improve customer experience; and even museums and parks that integrate them into their attractions.

In fact, one of your main customers is the hotel sector. How do your customers enjoy your technology?

Exactly, our first success cases have been in the hotel industry. The customer has the possibility to enjoy using technology that enables them to completely transform their room, customise it, and be amazed by the contents and videos of some of the best digital art and video 360 artists in the world. In addition, we have created personalised content for special occasions like birthdays, wedding anniversaries, marriage proposals, etc. With the MK360 we can welcome the customer with their own photos projected on the walls of their room or use it as an alarm clock to start the day on a paradisical beach, with the sound of the waves and smell of the sea. We create amazing atmospheres which adapt to each client. On the other hand, in other cases our technology is used to sell activities that the client can participate in at the destination, as well as the services offered in the hotel itself (spa, restaurants etc.). It can also form part of the equipment of the meeting rooms and spaces for events, where companies can rent our projector to further enhance the experience. In the past few months in the market, we have shown that the contents which are made with high quality criteria and sufficient resources work very well, whether nature documentaries, short films in 360 or interactive digital art experiences.

Also airline companies and sporting events are beginning to develop services linked to Virtual Reality (VR)

Yes, many agents within the tourist industry are adopting VR. The way it is used by airline companies is very unusual, because they use the immersive technologies to entertain the client during flights, as well as offering services they can do once they reach the destination. In sporting events, the possibilities are numerous, whether by transmitting live sports through VR for those fans who cannot attend the event (as has already been being done in the NBA for a few years) as well as to entertain the spectators before, during and after the event. We believe that this will soon reach Europe.

With all of these possibilities on the horizon, can we say that the tourism sector is open to technological innovation?

Yes, totally. In fact, tourism is one of those sectors where innovation is crucial and changes happen fast, and we have already seen experiences of start-ups and technological companies that are transforming the sector and are causing structural changes to occur in a very short period of time.

You will form part of the first edition of B-Travel Pro, what will the attendees who come to visit you in the start up village be able to discover?

The attendees of the B-Travel Pro will discover technology which for many years has only existed only in films, but can today be found in hotels as well as other companies in the world, given that we also have hospitals, universities, museums and even car dealers in our portfolio of clients.

To conclude, looking to the future, will the time arrive in which we will no longer travel space to do so using virtual travel from home?

I don't think so, and there are indicators that predict that this will happen. On the contrary, the reality is that travelling more, further and more often is on the increase. The experience that you have travelling cannot be replaced by any virtual experience, is not comparable. However, what the virtual experience can do is nurture a greater interest in travelling and discovering other corners of the world. In this regard, there are several companies of the tourist sector that are already applying these technologies to present their proposals for trips to customers or to sell complementary activities and tours once the traveller arrives at the destination. We have some of these cases, and we see that it is a trend that is being consolidated and increasing as the response of the customer is always very positive.

"The virtual experience can nurture a greater interest in travelling and discovering other corners of the world."