Tour operators

Wearable tech set to ‘take travel to the next level’

Posted by Phil Davies on
Wearable tech set to ‘take travel to the next level’

Image via Shutterstock

New devices such as the Apple Watch will take travel to the next level, with capabilities like one-tap flight check-ins, real-time transit updates and directions, a reports claims.

Smart watches will even give users the ability to unlock hotel rooms by waving the watch in front of your hotel door, according to traveller engagement platform Sojern.

Starwood Hotels is already developing an app for the Apple Watch that acts as a room key.

However, some early-adopter airlines like Air Berlin and Iberia have already introduced pilots for smartwatch boarding passes, which can be used by owners of devices such as the Samsung Gear 2, Pebble, Pebble Steel and the Sony Smartwatch 2.

Travel brands will have to adopt multi-screen strategies, rather than focusing purely on mobile, Sojern suggests.

“For more than a decade industry pundits have been predicting the year of mobile but they’ve largely missed the point. Focusing on the mobile device alone is tantamount to tunnel vision,” the report says.

“Consumers have become ‘device promiscuous’ so the real opportunity of mobile – assuming you can determine cross-device identity – is the ability to continue the conversation with a prospective customer. Much more exciting than merely optimizing creative for a very, very small screen.”

Following the success of Airbnb, Taskrabbit and Uber, next up is a wave of peer-to-peer applications and services that cater to more niche needs, like renting or borrowing baby strollers and cribs when traveling with children; finding hand-crafted experiences offered by locals; eating or taking cooking lessons with local chefs; renting sports equipment like bikes and surfboards from owners in town; or, for business travelers, offering appropriate meeting spaces that can be rented by the hour.

“All these collaborative consumption models and many others like them take the inconvenience out of travel and allow users to experience their destinations in a more authentic manner, while definitely giving established institutions a run for their money,” Sojern adds.

Meanwhile, the reports claims the ‘last click’ model is increasingly under scrutiny for its assumption that online booking behaviour is a simple, linear process: See ad, click ad, visit site, book ticket.

“The reality is that a customer’s online journey is far more complex, often influenced by dozens of touch points along the path to purchase.

“By analysing a customer’s entire sequence of events prior to conversion it’s possible – with big data tools – to apportion credit between channels, tactics and campaigns in an effort to optimise ROI,” says the report.

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