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Often, when I find myself looking for travel inspiration, I close my eyes and dream of what reality could be. Now, with the help of innovative technology, I can keep my eyes wide open and see exactly what my holiday could look like.
Welcome to augmented and virtual trip experiences! The Amadeus Search, Shopping and Pricing division, in collaboration with Amadeus Innovation & Research, have indeed experimented with new user interfaces by leveraging two new disruptive devices that could help you decide on your next destination, hotel, or flight.
Imagine comfortably sitting in your living room wearing Google Glass, looking at a destination travel magazine, when suddenly you feel the urge to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A picture of a Tahitian beach catches your eye and you say “OK Glass, Inspire Me!” – the device recognizes the landscape and displays the lowest fares between your location and Tahiti which is then forwarded to your email inbox.
This is real and real-time, and it has been made possible thanks to the Amadeus Travel Innovation Sandbox powered by Amadeus Extreme Search and Master Pricer, incorporating natural language processing and image matching technologies.
Now, you’re at the Travel Agency, talking with an agent, wondering if there’s enough legroom in the Economy class cabin, contemplating whether to book the Superior or the Luxury room at the beautiful resort in Tahiti, and looking for attractions and things to do in the area.
The agent quickly alleviates your fears with a virtual tour via an Oculus Rift headset and all of a sudden you’re in the First Class cabin of a 747. Then, you see Economy class – and ask the agent how long the flight is; “It’s 14 hours”. First class it is then. Then, you find yourself on a tropical resort’s balcony and the azure waters of the Tahitian shoreline and powdery white sand seem so real that you can almost smell the salt water and feel the ocean breeze.
Immersive Shopping is a recent prototype leveraging the Oculus Rift’s capabilities with Amadeus Click & Sell to provide the Travel Agent with a powerful inspirational tool that can help the travellers get a feeling of their future journeys, and all of this is just the beginning of virtual traveling…
Recently, visitors at IFTM Top Resa in Paris and FVW Kongress in Köln had a chance to test these two prototypes and the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive.
“The objective was to showcase the capabilities of Amadeus' technology based on new disruptive innovations, and to support our strategy to co-develop ideas further with our customers together, while receiving valuable feedback. This year we have decided to focus on new trends and technologies: the Augmented/Virtual Reality, Social Shopping, Always Connected Customer and it has been a "Wow edition"! Our customers were extremely pleased to have the opportunity to test Google Glass and Oculus Rift in real life with real travel based prototypes: It is a great tool to have at the point of sale! The Travel Agency of Tomorrow will be like this. With the Oculus Rift, our customers can experience a unique sensation: both at the inspirational and booking phase. Testing these prototypes has changed my view on the impact of virtual reality. It was the fourth time we have had such innovative demos, and it won’t be the last” said Evantia Giumba - Head of Business Development at Amadeus France.
Sascha Nau, Head of Marketing Amadeus DACH & TravelTainment, commented:
“It's not the idea; it's what you do with it. Amadeus turns ideas into reality to deliver a competitive differentiator for our customers. Virtual and augmented reality will influence the travel market massively. We support our customers to meet the future demands in technology - rapidly and effectively within the fiercely competitive marketplace. Think big, start small and share everything - that's how we encourage discussions, exchange and re-interpretation of our ideas which can lead to unexpected and innovative developments and enhancements – allowing our customers to individualise a mass market.”
As such Wearable devices open a new door to inspire, engage and communicate with our clients. Today, Inspire Me on Google Glass or Immersive Shopping on Oculus Rift are experimentations, among many others, that Amadeus is leading in order to see how customers value such new experiences. Our central and regional commercial organizations are capturing our customer feedback each time we showcase those prototypes to ensure we are turning our ideas into a real value for them, and for you.
The future of travel has never been so close. Open your eyes and feel a new sense of reality. Keep an eye on this blog for all of the latest news on the innovations we’re working on and let us know what you think about the possibilities this technology presents to the travel industry.
Have a look at the infographic below for more insights into the possibilities of wearable travel technology.