Amazon launched Explore, a new platform that promises it will allow exploration of anything from lessons to attractions. It works by broadcasting a video, with tour guides, coaches and personal shoppers providing one-on-one sessions. The company says the video is one-way, which means the host is the only one. That appears on the camera during the virtual experience, but the audio is bidirectional so you can ask questions and make requests.
According to the Verge, the Explore page provides an idea of the range of experiences on offer. These courses include relatively inexpensive sessions such as a $ 10 and 40-minute virtual shopping experience in Ridgeland, USA, and a 45-minute virtual tour of a palace in Lima, Peru. For $ 70.
TechCrunch reports that there are a total of 86 experiences in 16 countries, as Amazon is the latest company to start offering virtual events this year as people have had to cut back on trips and other personal activities.
And earlier this year, Airbnb launched its own virtual travel experiences, and fitness company ClassPass switched to offering classes online.
Apple was initially criticized for cutting off 30% of these virtual purchases, the New York Times reported, but last week it said it would temporarily stop truncating virtual purchases from Airbnb, ClassPass and Facebook online.
Amazon’s Explore product pages indicate that customers are able to browse and purchase experiences on phones and tablets, although it is unclear if it will be subject to Apple’s 30% commission.
Amazon Explore is currently only available to customers in the US, and they book by choosing an experience, then choosing a date and time for a session, and can be canceled or rescheduled with up to 24 hours notice.