Adventure travel specialist Explore is using emotion-tracking software which has been dubbed the “next generation holiday brochure” to help people choose what type of holiday they’d like to go on.
It’s headsets will use a technique known as electroencephalography (EEG), which tracks people’s emotional reactions to visual stimuli and will be used to determine if they want to walking, cycling, on cultural trips or to see wildlife.
The program interprets the electrical activity from the scalp and measures voltage fluctuations resulting from ionic current flows within the neurons of the brain to see if the subject is finding something pleasurable.
The move follows research from Explore that found that 60% of respondents say choosing a destination is the most challenging part of booking a holiday and 58% say it takes more than two weeks to plan their trip.
Explore wants to remove the risk of disappointment for holidaymakers by offering the free service and says the use of the software will make holiday booking more fun.
Expedia is also using similar technology to see how its test subjects react to features of its website, with the view to improving customer experience.
Ashley Toft, managing director at Explore, said: “We all know the best holidays are those that include truly extraordinary moments; trips that offer once in a lifetime experiences. But there are so many places to go and things to see, how do you navigate those choices and pick the perfect holiday for you? Even more perplexing, how can you predict it’s going to tick of all of your boxes, particularly if you have never been before?”
“Our exciting new software taps into your brain and will, quite literally, make a holiday recommendation based on your emotional reactions. In short, you could say we’ve created the next generation holiday brochure.”
And the tech has the backing of scientists.
Chartered clinical psychologist from the British Psychological Society, Dr Jessamy Hibberd, added: “People’s emotional responses to experiences and moments in their lives differ greatly, so it’s a fascinating proposition.
“Research shows that doing more of the things you enjoy, particularly if they are meaningful to you will make you feel good, even when life is difficult or you are stuck doing things you don’t enjoy. It’s not just about doing any old thing, because unless the activity is the right thing for you, it won’t have any effect.”
Explore has more than 500 trips in 120-plus countries such as Peru, India and Botswana.