Which technology will best help you to travel?

Technology

Technology is enabling a generation of connected travelers. Source: Shutterstck.com

TECHNOLOGY is here to stay, advance and ultimately help you in every way it can. One of these ways is by helping you to travel with ease, convenience and comfort.

Long gone are the days of non-wheelie suitcases, disgusting airplane food and being able to smoke on transport, so why should the technology used in travel not reflect the times and trends?

Travel technology has created a whole new sector of the tech industry and is gradually revolutionizing the way we travel, including the restructuring of the sharing economy.

But what is it exactly that is transforming the travel industry for your benefit?

Apps galore

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The glorious smartphone has enabled us to access information everywhere we go, from useless dinner-party facts to a brief explanation of quantum physics. And with smartphones come a plethora apps – apps to make your life easier.

One of these is Octotrip: a business travel app which allows you to book accommodation and flights all in a few simple clicks.

The app derives its name from octo meaning eight in Spanish and eight being the infinity sign. “The message we want to send the world is be limitless,” the app’s co-founder Jens Oreel told Travel Wire Asia.

“The app was inspired by years of traveling and having to carry out over 100 actions just to get a trip booked.”

The app works with artificial intelligence and gathers big data to personalize your booking experience. It can also sync with your working calendar to make sure it is one step ahead of your traveling demands.

“Right now, other travel sites don’t know you, but if I am going to try to sell you something, I am going to want to get to know you,” Oreel added.

The app also understands the frustration of keeping receipts and invoices safe, so once your trip is booked, the app will send a concise invoice and a thorough itinerary straight to your phone.

You can look forward to the release of this app in early 2018.

Biometrics

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Biometric technology is way cooler than it sounds. It’s not a measurement or recycling process, but the method of identifying people through the features that make them unique, such as fingerprints and retinas.

At some airports’ passport control, those who have an e-chip passport can breeze through using the facial recognition gates. There are, of course, restrictions and conditions with using this system, but airports around the globe are allowing more passengers by the day to use the biometric technology.

New Zealand, for example, has just given the green light to Chinese travelers over the age of 12 and carrying an e-passport to use the e-gates.

Other airports around the globe are utilizing this same technology. “We want to make air travel flow even smoother and be involved in developing the customer experience,” Heikki Koski, vice-president of Helsinki Airport told The Independent. “Facial recognition is part of the larger megatrend of biometric recognition, and it will enable ‘hands-in-the-pockets’ traveling, where you no longer need any travel documents.”

Goodbye long queues, hello getting on with your vacation.

Virtual reality

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Unless you have plenty of disposable income and can book a trip as easily as –

“Shall we go here?”

“What if we don’t like it?”

“Well it doesn’t really matter, we’ll just go somewhere else”

– you would be unlikely to just book a trip anyway on a whim. But that is why travel reviews, travel agents and a wealth of information on the internet exist – so you can make an informed decision. Yet, technology has gone one step further to ensure you make the right choice.

The advancements in virtual reality technology now allow you to take a simulated trip around your choice of destinations before you book.

Travelers can take an immersive tour around a hotel or resort, using such technology as Marriott Hotels’ VRoom Service.

The Shangri-La hotels also offer this immersive tour with 360-degree images of the resorts, destinations and cities for everyone. But for the for the full virtual experience, you will need to access the Oculus platform.

Disruptive parking apps

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Not directly linked to the aviation industry but something that could possibly disrupt the extortionate car parking systems operated by most airports.

Apart from Bengaluru in India, which is about to get its very own helicopter taxi service to the airport, many travelers are left with the limited options of either driving, parking and paying – or catching an expensive taxi to the airport, and spending a proportion of the trip with the niggling worry the taxi might not pick them upon return.

But now you can rent out the car parking space of someone who lives near the airport and either take a bus, taxi or simply walk to the airport, depending on how far it is.

Apps such as Just Park and Park On My Drive offer convenient options for short-term and long-term travelers.