Low-cost airline EasyJet has announced plans to pioneer voice recognition technology using Google’s Dialogflow artificial intelligence technology.
The carrier claims it will become the first airline to offer Speak Now on its app that will allow customers to search for flights using voice.
EasyJet said new technology will improve the customer experience and offer travellers an easy way to find the flights they want.
The system is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and uses Dialogflow, Google Cloud’s natural language understanding tool for building conversational experiences.
The feature will ask audible questions to determine the exact booking criteria customers require, making it easier to narrow down criteria such as destination, date and airports they want to fly from.
EasyJet said typing out a search query takes 12 taps, but Speak Now will allow the same tasks to be carried out in seconds.
The new voice search functionality will be available in English on iOS and be made available to customers in coming weeks.
Daniel Young, head of digital experience at easyJet, said: “We are constantly on the search for ways to improve the travel experience we offer our customers when flying with us and this new technology is a perfect example of that.
“As part of this, we are continually striving to make booking a flight more accessible for customers, especially those who are visually impaired, and Speak Now helps us achieve this objective.
“We continue to place innovation at the heart of our industry-leading mobile travel app to give our customers the tools they need to have a smooth experience booking flights with us. Embracing this latest technology makes preparing for travel, easy and fun.”
Cormac Reilly, vice-president and global head of travel partners solutions, who developed the technology for easyJet at Travelport, added:
“We love partnering with easyJet because, like us, they’re always trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible to give their customers the best in-app experience.
“This is the latest in a series of innovative world first features that make booking travel as easy as possible, giving easyJet customers a helpful digital experience.
“Conversational voice search is a great example of how we’re using the latest technologies, including AI and Google Cloud’s Dialogflow, to make the experience of buying and managing travel continually better for everyone.”
Speak Now comes on the back of other recent innovations easyJet has developed including visual search tool Look&Book that uses images from Instagram.
It also offers cabin bag-sizer tool, which incorporates augmented reality technology to allow customers to check the size of their hand luggage before going to the airport.
Dominik Wee, managing director manufacturing and transportation for Google Cloud, said:
“Dialogflow makes it easy to build conversational agents that use natural language to answer questions or perform tasks.
“It’s exciting to see how easyJet has employed our technology to make booking travel as easy as it can possibly be.”