Technology is an evolutionary game being played out on consumers’ smartphones. Just recently, industry analyst IHS Markit forecasted global smartphone installs growing by 2 billion in the next three years. This will be supported by embedded artificial intelligence in all parts of mobile devices, especially with cameras and audio.
The stage is being set for emerging technologies such as voice search through Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, along with streaming video, intelligent chatbots and virtual reality to come together. These advancements will vastly enrich all stages of the traveller’s journey.
Last week we heard about 5 drivers accelerating mobile travel in 2017. My next set of conversations with Amadeus leaders focused on the emerging technologies that will start to play a more visible role in shaping the traveller’s mobile lifestyle in 2017. This post, along with video highlights, showcases six of the biggest mobile tech trends that will soon make their mark on the travel industry.
Voice-driven interaction makes waves
“The interaction between people through the combination of social, chat, voice and artificial intelligence is a big servicing wave that will soon transform the traveller’s world. This combination is also impacting the way businesses interact with customers, as many aspects of the industry – from user experience to big data and machine learning – will be affected. Travellers are already very active in social media, sharing their opinions, advice and criticism with the world. Travel brands have to evolve and become responsive in every possible way.”- Francisco Perez-Lozao, SVP of Strategic Growth Businesses
Geo-fencing and IoT start a retail revolution
“In order to have a truly personalised service, data analytics is key as it helps travel players to more deeply understand their traveller’s behaviour. From that perspective, I believe the Internet of Things will be a catalyst for a massive revolution in the next five years, led by Amazon.”- Pascal Clement, Head of Travel Intelligence
“I think 2017 will be the kick-off and cornerstone of the Internet of Things in travel. Sales of ancillary services in ‘hot’ moments through geo-fencing promotion will also be at the centre of the traveller’s mobile experience. This will be most notably applied in shopping and other leisure activities in destination, but also for critical in-trip airport ancillaries such as fast track, lounge access and valet parking. ”- Fernando Cuesta, General Manager for Amadeus Spain
Mobile wallets read your payment mind
“Mobile wallet usage will expand and start to allow providers to innovate and dominate through one-tap payment or even eliminate the conscious payment moment completely, such as in the case of Uber. In travel, I expect a model where travellers can simply click ‘buy’ for a flight ancillary and have the payment complete automatically.”- Celia Pereiro, Head of Travel Payments
Live stream videos become pocket tour guides
“Live video streaming capabilities within social media now enable travel brands to create new, unique content for their audiences. For example, destination and airport marketers can show off the true colours of their city through a Facebook Live streaming video. Airports can capture and distribute live-stream content via their own apps and social media footprint to create next-generation highly curated travel guides.”- John Jarrell, Head of Airport IT
Virtual reality boosts inspiration
“Google recently opened its JUMP platform, which is a DIY VR platform, allowing more opportunities for commercial as well as private players to create more inspirational leisure travel content. With 3-D camera getting better and better, virtual visits of your hotel room and surrounding destination areas can all be experienced in this exciting new way.” – Joerg Schuler, Marketing & Operations Director for WEMEA
Commerce gets more conversational
“Conversational commerce will take critical steps and advance because of text-based messaging platforms being combined with more available and actionable intelligence about the traveller. Drawing on a wide spectrum of data sources and technologies, machine learning will enable travel companies to deliver even more meaningful, personalised offers at the right time to the individual traveller.” – Scott Gutz, CEO for North America
“Chatbots and messenger app usage has already taken off at a rapid rate in Asia Pacific. We’ll now start to see these channels pre-emptively remove friction that has traditionally stymied the traveller and provider relationship. It’s going to be all about chat-enabled on-trip support and upsell, which allows travel agents to deliver new value to their clientele.”- Simon Akeroyd, VP, Corporate Strategy & Business Development for Asia Pacific
“There is a shift towards mobile transactions, the most innovative players in this space are in Asia where most online players already are Mobile First businesses. Combined social and mobile sharing trends will push OTAs to adapt and build their products around a total trip management platform. Creating the right mobile technology with bots and virtual assistant support is paramount to capitalise on intent-rich traveller moments, particularly in flight search and other on-trip services.”- Sébastien Gibergues, Head of Leisure, Online & Travel Media Travel Channels
Will a single emerging technology or combination of them have the biggest impact on travellers this year? Time will tell. Without a doubt the traveller’s increasingly mobile lifestyle will re-define the loyalty rules of leisure and business travel alike.