Tips for leveraging wearable technology in the travel industry

Ian Van Hove

Western Europe, Middle East and Africa Program Manager, Mobile, Amadeus IT Group

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Wearable technology can perform many of the same computing tasks as mobile phones and laptop computers. However, in some cases, it can outperform these hand-held devices entirely. Wearable technology tends to be more sophisticated than hand-held technology on the market today because it can provide sensory and scanning features not typically seen in mobile and laptop devices, such as biofeedback and tracking of physiological function.


What does all this mean for the travel industry? It means that the potential to connect with travellers in new ways will be greater than ever. Smartwatches are taking the lead with mobile boarding passes, but this is just the beginning of the possible applications of this technology.

With RFID chip implants, a paper passport or visa could become obsolete and travellers will not have to worry about documents, credit cards, and other travel essentials. Travelers will be ‘always connected’ and the way duty of care is handled will change as well.

Some Tips

To leverage wearable technology now – travel players should do the following;

Grab the quick wins and look at the past

Knowing that Apple is able to accelerate the adoption of new technologies, could indicate that smartwatches will be the next big thing.

Wearable technology is still dependant on smartphones

Ensure your mobile strategy is set and caters for future proof technology. Equally important is adoption. You can only learn from active users.

Be prepared to take a dive into the unknown

Wearable technology will be even more agile than mobile. Being an early adopter in this area will surely increase the innovative perception of customers towards your brand.

Manage customer data

Wearables, mobile, offline and online stores will be more than ever interconnected and connected on the external world, thus creating a new proximity.

In the near future more wearable devices will emerge and the technology will evolve and improve. The challenge is to predict what wearables will survive and how they bring added value to the travel industry.

Travellers already see the benefit of using wearable technologies and will drive the new developments, but it’s up to travel players to develop their wearable strategy in sync with their overall channel strategy. This will ensure that interactions with consumers are seamless and real time, allowing true personalisation, thus resulting in increased monetisation of channels and highly engaged customers.

What’s your take on the potential of wearable technology in the travel industry?