Today’s Here & There covers updates from the airline industry, hospitality industry outlook for 2013, travel industry survey results, updates on travel mobile apps and thought provoking reads like – What does it take to fly for free? Increasing demand for self-service functionality at airports.
Planning for a trip is getting better and better with many new innovative applications flowing in. Some applications target to inspire travellers, some offer reviews, some offer things to do in a place, some offer budget / homestay accommodation etc. If you are looking for a pre-defined itinerary or create your own itinerary for your trip by looking at maps that have attractions / accommodations pinned in it, then you should be looking at Tripomatic, Czech Republic based startup.
Toozla, a mobile audio tour/guide app has been selected by Samsung as “App of the year 2012″ in Samsung’s App Store. Samsung has summarized popularity of mobile apps in Samsung App Store (both mobile and tablet platforms put together) with Toozla in top with 5/5 ratings. Other popular apps in the top category includes Angry Birds and Opera Mini.
Sabre Travel Network, a global technology company serving travel agencies and suppliers, has unveiled “Clipboard Red App” as a new app to its Sabre Red App Centre. Sabre launched Sabre Red App Centre in March 2012. Sabre Red is the desktop terminal that Sabre’s network of travel agents use. Sabre Red App Centre is a centralised repository of apps for Sabre Red desktop application.
Cambridge Consultants, UK based technology enabled product development company has developed a patent-approved device called ‘DropTag’ that monitors and alerts the parcel/baggage handling at transit. Baggage handling is a critical aspect in an airport, both for the airline company and the customer. Airlines levy a variety of fees centered around baggage. But, are the customers 100% satisfied in the way their baggages are handled?
Travelzoo, a global travel deals company has launched a totally refreshed iPhone app. Travelzoo calls it as ‘second generation iPhone app’. The previous version of the iPhone app was downloaded by 1.5 million users across the globe. Travelzoo also has an Android app too. Travelzoo says that one-third of their traffic comes from mobile devices.
In the US, car rental is a $33 billion industry that employes 126,000 people. Car rental market is on a rise. Like flights and hotels industry, car rental too has cut-throat competition. We have traditional car rental companies like Avis, Enterprise, Hertz and car sharing companies like ZipCar (now part of Avis), Get Around.
Google’s Project Glass – the much awaited next generation augmented reality product from Google is finally hitting the hands of select developers this month end. In one of our earlier articles, we wrote about the possible use cases of Google Glass in travel industry. Today, Google had sent out invitations to select developers to attend a two day conference – one happens in NYC and the other one in SFO. Google calls this conference as ‘Glass Foundry’.
In June 2012, we wrote about the possible impacts that Apple’s Passbook could create in travel industry. As soon as Apple launched Passbook app in fall 2012, travel companies (mostly tier-1 players) made their offerings ‘passbook-friendly’. Today, India based leading online travel agency Cleartrip has emerged as India’s first portal to make its offerings passbook-friendly. Effective today, customers who reserve flights, hotels and trains in Cleartrip will be able to add their bookings to Apple’s Passbook.
Recent technology developments have greatly changed the way travelers plan and enjoy their trip. With the advent of mobile, travelers started to use it as a digital guide right from getting directions, reading reviews, sharing feedback. One of the uncommon use of mobile during travel is to use it as a ‘guide’, a replacement for a human guide. Though this trend has picked up in the US and UK, in India the audio-guide-in-mobile market is slowly catching up. This is mainly to do with the adoption rate of smartphones. AudioCompass, India based
Earlier in Travopia, we wrote about next generation customer experience scenarios in hospitality industry. Some of these scenarios are turning out to be real day by day. The latest addition to this list is the launch of “iRiS Lobby” by iRiS, a leading technology company that builds innovative products for hospitality industry. iRiS Lobby is an app that can be displayed both on an iPad and larger format touch-screens.
Even before the QR code concept is fully adopted in travel industry, QR code has started losing its shine. QR code dominated (and still) the print and digital medium of communication by all airlines, hoteliers, car rental companies etc. ‘Shortened-URL’ was seen as an alternative or equivalent of QR code. But, technically these two are different and each has its own merit and demerit. Now, Augmented Reality (AR) is considered as the new QR code.
The only thing that is constant in this world is – Change. We could not agree more on this statement. Looking at the various technology spins that happened in the last decade+ years in travel industry, this statement will remain relevant for years to come. Among all technology advancements, lets look only at consumer gadgets that influenced travellers and travel companies. These are primarily – desktops, laptops, mobiles, tablets. With every introduction
In the year 2000, internet connection inside a flight was a dream. Hold on. Lets be fair in saying that terrestrial internet as such was a big thing then. After the dot com revolution in 2000, one of the focus of airline industry was to bring internet connectivity in flight while on air. Boeing sensed this opportunity and launched a service by name “Connexion” in 2004, but it apparently wasn’t successful due to various reasons.
Mobile is evidently changing the way we live, talk and communicate. In 2010, Steve Jobs announced that the industry is moving towards ‘post-pc’ era and we couldn’t agree more. What does it take to build a disruptive native app? Which one should we focus first – building a mobile website or a native app? What’s the future of mobile market 3 years down the lane? What’s the fuzz about data driven decision making?