In the 1940s, Thomas J. Watson, President of IBM, famously stated: “I think there is a world market for about five computers.” This gross underprediction highlights a key fact: it is easy to misjudge the impact new technologies will have on consumers and businesses. A perfect example of this is the emerging bearing that mobile devices will have on the travel sector.
In 2018, the greater potential of emerging technology tools such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and location services on smartphones will be realised. We have already witnessed digital transformation in the travel industry, from Booking.com using a chat tool to automate online trip searches, to Kayak offering a chatbot service providing updates on flight delays and gate changes, but this is just the start.
The future is far brighter: a revolution where mobile-based travel services can anticipate your needs in advance. This will drastically transform the consumer travel experience, making it far less time-consuming and far more enjoyable.
How will this be possible? The answer lies in making a critical shift in mobile usage, from a device used reactively in response to a problem, to one that proactively resolves an issue prior to the traveller realising there was one.
What will this tool look like and how will it work?
It may seem a little farfetched, but imagine combining Uber’s user-friendly interface, the predictive analytics of Google, and the personalisation of Amazon, all tailored to travel services. Flight delayed? The mobile travel service automatically alerts your booked taxi and hotel to make them aware you are late and to hold the room. Meeting postponed? Your mobile travel service will notice the change in your calendar and will share directions to your rental car to a nearby work space.
Are you on board?
It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the speed in which the world is changing. The role of technology has increased exponentially over the recent decades, and it only appears to be continuing to do so. It is clear that businesses are embracing this change and adopting new tech tools to improve speed and performance. Shouldn’t our leisure time follow suit? Admittedly, we all enjoy a holiday from time-to-time, and if the use of a mobile-based travel service can make a getaway that little bit more pleasant and stress-free, who wouldn’t be on board?