Hotels.com is stepping into new territory with the release of a bizarre new product to showcase some of the major destinations featured on its US site.
A surreal mash-up between a promotion, game and trip planning tool, VirtualVacation is a microsite bolted on to Hotels.com that allows users to explore ten cities in the US by combining webcam technology with live interaction and storytelling.
User interact via webcam motion detection with a microphone pick-up to move and interact with 3D images of cities including Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and Las Vegas.
Such features include changing the Hollywood Hills sign to that of the user, checking - and seeing - local weather details and sending postcards to friends through social networks.
The entire sequence is hosted by Hotels.com's animated spokesman, Smart, with links back to the main Hotels.com website for booking and use of existing tools.
There is actually only one proper way to illustrate this idea - watch the demo: