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The future of travel is looking bright with new and exciting technologies providing great tools to help streamline travel, from planning to experience – yep, there’s never been a more dynamic time to be a traveller!

To help you navigate the rapidly changing tech landscape, here are four emerging technologies to keep an eye out for.

 

1. Digital Realities Are Now a Reality

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2016 was the year where digital reality finally became a physical reality! Advances in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have seen the uprise of some exciting tools for travellers like phone apps enabling you to translate signage and other text-based content in real-time.

In 2017 you can expect the ability to ‘try your travel experience’ before you buy, through a personalised VR experience of the hotel for example. VR tech provided inflight will enable you to immerse yourself in your destination even further, through for example a private tour of your hotel suite, or a guided tour of the hotel kitchen. AR navigation apps and games featuring location-specific digital content will provide you with another layer of engagement and information throughout your journey. This could include digital art installations and customised scavenger hunts!

 

2. Connecting Through Messaging

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In 2017 more travel companies will start to use Messaged Based Interfaces (MBIs) like WeChat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. So what does this mean for you? It means more consistent and efficient support when you need it most throughout and post your travels; eliminating the need to download another app or visiting a mobile website!

Meanwhile Apple and Google are making it easier to plan group activities and family travel by integrating services such as location sharing, group polling, calendar syncing and destination information inside their chat message interfaces.

 

3. The Voice of Travel

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We love to speak, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’ve spent over 50 years trying to converse with computer systems! As a traveller you want to be able to access information as conveniently as possible wherever you are, for example accessing your travel content via voice.

2017 will see the emergence of spoken systems that support you throughout your travels, providing you with hands free on-the-go information like itinerary management via voice. We’re also on the brink of real-time voice translation which will provide you with a more seamless international travel experience!

 

4. A Bit of This and a Bot of That

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As individuals anything that can save us time and effort is a huge plus, especially when we’re on the go. Whilst it’s easy to see advances in automation in manufacturing for example, significant progress in digital software and systems often go un-noticed, and these automated processes are having the most direct impact on your travel experience.

In 2017 you can expect intelligent systems like software bots that interpret and analyse your travel data to provide you with a more personalised experience. Using algorithms that gain a richer context about your personal and mandatory needs, the bots will act as your digital personal agent, providing you with travel reminders and automatically suggesting extra activities or comforts that you might like to experience during your trip.

Physical robots will also make an appearance throughout your journey to add further convenience, whether that’s through a delivery robot in your hotel, automated drones that give you access to places you might not be able to access by foot, not to mention autonomous luggage that follows you throughout the airport, or in the hotel – making travel a breeze.

It sure is an exciting time to be a traveller!

Read more about emerging tech in travel for 2017 here.

Which emerging technologies are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.

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