What's the new normal? Here's how travel looks like in post-Covid era

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What does travelling look like in the post-Covid era? This is the question that comes foremost in the minds of those who love to travel.

Looks like one has to get accustomed to this new normal even when it comes to travelling. In any case, some of the technologies that were in vogue during the Covid era are sure to continue over time. Although these technologies are meant to ensure the safety of passengers, there are concerns that they may invade privacy. Here are some innovations that travellers continue to see and use.

Virtual, Augmented reality
Museums and tourism centres provided online displays and experiences in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) as Covid restrictions prohibited travel. One should use a computer, smartphone, or VR headset for a virtual visit.

Launched in June 2020, the 'Explore Petra' app provides an opportunity to 'visit' archaeological sites in Jordan.

Arctic travel company Lights Over Lapland has developed a system that allows you to see the famous Northern Light when using VR headsets or computers.

The Museum of Natural History in Paris has an AR exhibition that brings endangered species of animals in digital form face to face in front of the tourists.

Do you know the experience of preparing the AR system at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC?

They will show you what it would be like to have skin and muscles on top of the skeletons of some animals!

The National Museum of Singapore has an installation called 'Story of the Forest'. Visitors travel can through a virtual landscape containing about 70 landscapes from the museum collection. Ensuring that AR and VR systems are in place at most tourist destinations to provide a refreshing experience to travellers on post-Covid journeys.

Mumbai airport
An airport staff member pushes trollies at the entrance of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, after the government allowed domestic flight services to resume, during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, in Mumbai, May 25, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Controlling crowding
During the Covid era, different technologies were introduced in airports, railway stations and museums to ensure social distancing.

Singapore has trialled patrol robots that blast warnings at people engaging in “undesirable social behaviour”, adding to an arsenal of surveillance technology in the tightly controlled city-state that is fuelling privacy concerns.

The government’s latest surveillance devices are robots on wheels, with seven cameras, that issue warnings to the public and detect “undesirable social behaviour”. This includes smoking in prohibited areas, improperly parking bicycles, and breaching coronavirus social-distancing rules. Cameras designed to trap criminals were used during the Covid period in Venice, Italy to track visitors to the city.

The plan is to utilize this system to control the number of tourists in the future as well. There is also a system for marking the exact position with a laser light to ensure distance. Technologies for social distancing will continue to exist in the post-Covid era.

UVC cleaning
UV-C light has been used in hospitals for more than two decades to destroy viruses. It is now widespread in public places, including airports, gyms, and movie theatres. UV-C lights can be used to disinfect handrails, doors, or armrests in public places. UV-C cleaning may be widespread in crowded areas. These UV light sanitisers promise to rid your tech and other household items of germs that might make you sick. On the UV light spectrum, there are UV-A, B, and C lights. Only the UV-C light can kill germs. This light has a range of effectiveness, which interferes and destroys the nucleic acids of bacteria and other microbes. These UV sanitisers are helpful in disinfecting other items, such as face masks, retainers, glasses, or makeup brushes.

QR code in restaurants
The QR code is often scanned to order food at the hotel or to pay the bill.

The menu card, which has been in the hands of thousands of people for ages, is likely to be remembered. Digital payments will also be widespread.

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