The way we travel is continuously evolving and always has been. From the early explorers with their maps and compasses to today’s adventurous folks armed with their smartphones. The influence of tech innovations has never been more widespread and accessible than it is right now. How did the impact of technology change the way we travel?
Nowadays, we can take a backpack, charge our smartphone and hit the road without worrying about anything at all. Luckily, by dint of the magic of technology, many of travellers’ main problems can easily be remedied with apps for your mobile device.
Even just a few years ago, if you were going on holidays, you had to stay at a hotel. But over the past couple of years, that has changed significantly. Wimdu, Airbnb or booking.com has become so popular, that it has completely changed the way people book their accommodation. Now you can stay in a cozy apartment in the city center, a quaint little cottage out in the countryside or even crash at a stranger’s place for free thanks to couch-surfing. You can pretty much check out and book anything online. The increasing use of technology across the board in the luxury hotel industry is a trend which is impossible to miss. The appetite for futuristic additions to the hotel experience is expected to soon be present worldwide, not only in the premium class sector.
Travel issue? There’s definitely an app for that. If not five different ones
You can book flights through an app and thanks to car rental app choose a vehicle you want to hire, as well as check the current weather at your travel destination. A wide range of different kinds of apps cover almost every sphere of traveling, from how-to-get-there to activities you can enjoy once you arrive how to communicate with the locals and even apps that take the hassle out of paying for stuff. For example a luggage locator which allows you to track your luggage anywhere on the globe from a smartphone, a live flight tracker letting you monitor the location of an aircraft anywhere around the world and view flight data in real time. There is even a Mobile Passport App, enabling you skip the regular line to cross U.S. borders.
Problems that used to cheese travelers off, can now be easily solved thanks to a wide range of applications.
From couch-surfing to luxury hotels
As 2018 touches down, a whole new crop of tech trends is taking off and transforming the world of travel - apps are optimising everything around traveling from logistics, medical care, business travel to mass market consumer tourism, search and book platforms, and hotel management. But travelers’ expectations have changed and the emphasis is increasingly on personalized, authentic experiences. That ethos has now sneaked into the luxury travel segment.
Although smart hotels still seems to be futuristic, they are becoming a modern-day reality. Robo-butlers, holograms and facial recognition replacing door keys and hi-tech hotels arise all around the world. There are more and more new ways of making guests feel welcome and making their stay a more personalised experience.
Advanced in-room technology and hi-tech gadgets
According to Forbes travel guide the rooms in Sentosa Cove, luxury hotel in Singapore "are outfitted with plenty of in-room technology to ensure you stay plugged in during your stay. In the bedroom you’ll find a 40-inch flat-screen television and DVD player hooked up to Bose surround sound, while the bathroom is outfitted with ceiling-mounted speakers and a volume control panel above the marble countertop." The bedside clock radio is also equipped with a plug-in iPhone dock. These are just a few of dozens of examples of travel tech tools in premium travel sphere.
Several large hotel chains, including Marriott, have been testing out a mobile key system where you use your smartphone to get into your room. Just like in one of the most unique hotels in Poland - Blow Up Hall 5050. It has no front desk or room numbers. All guests get an iPhone with an application to help them locate their rooms. If you are a big fan of hi-tech gadgets you should visit ARIA in Las Vegas which lets you control almost everything from lighting to in-mirror TVs through smart technology.
Robots instead of butlers
Here's another hotel where gadgets meets splendor. The rooms in Hong Kong's Peninsula hotel have tablets that control everything - this includes room service, digital radio, checking weather and adjusting things like room temperature and lighting.
And finally there’s Connie, Hilton Hotels’ first robot concierge, just like in the Aloft hotel situated in Apple's home city Cupertino. The hotel has robots called Botlrs that work as butlers handling various tasks at the front desk. You will also find them navigating the guests to the elevators and offering towels at the pool. The Yotel hotel in New York city has a robot called Yobot, who can carry your luggage. Guests can control Yobot via a touch screen supported by an app.
Are you sure that nothing can surprise you anymore? Innovations and technology in the travel industry are going much further than you think. At Hotel 1000 in Microsoft's home town Seattle, guests don’t need to hang 'Do not Disturb' signs on their doors anymore.The hotel has infrared sensors that detect body temperature and display the results to the housekeeping staff. This hotel also boasts of a virtual golf club with an infrared system to measure the height and speed of the ball.
AI is a must have
Another key trend that continues to emerge in the whole travel industry in 2018 is the use of Artificial Intelligence. The main usage of AI lies in chatbots and direct messaging. When used this way, AI is able to answer simple questions and inquiries from hotel guests almost instantaneously.
This technology is already used to quickly analyse large amounts of data, while giants like Hilton have already began to experiment with artificially intelligent robots, which are able to provide tips and other tourist information in response to human speech.
Promising tech travel industry
The travel industry is growing year by year, and there is a lot of competition in this field. Almost every day we hear about new applications or websites being featured for travelers. Applications for smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices have not only changed the way customers research and book their travel arrangements, but they’ve also fundamentally shifted the way travel companies and hotels view devices as tools for continued, personalized interaction and communication with would-be travelers and hotel guests.
One thing is certain. Whatever luxury hotels choose to innovate next – it will be impressively magnificent, because it is aimed at personalisation, where the guest is given control over almost every aspect of their hotel experience.
And by the way… is there anyone who can imagine traveling these days without using any travel hi-tech applications?