August 7th, 2017 / Published in: Blog
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Mobile technology and travel software platforms bring people together like never before. They surely make the world seem way smaller and more accessible.
These new technologies have indeed reshaped and redefined how we move about. It has affected how the tourism and travel tech industry operate as a whole.
VR, AR, Video: the Tip of the Travel Iceberg
Some examples of the types of technologies I’ve seen emerge are immersive video and virtual and augmented reality. These technologies are making the travel experience even more exciting. Destinations that were once uncommon, are now much more approachable.
Norway, for instance, had not precisely been always considered as a regular destination for many would-be travelers. Leveraging immersive video this cold and beautiful country is increasingly raising awareness of all that it has to offer. Norway can show potential visitors it is one of the friendliest and most welcoming countries in the world.
Virtual reality (VR) is another breakthrough technology for the travel industry and we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg right now. Through VR experiences, destinations, hotels, and airlines can entice travelers by allowing them to explore what they may experience. VR can ease the fear of the unknown and change perceptions about cities or countries across the globe.
Like VR, augmented reality (AR) is changing the way people travel. AR has the potential to create increased exploration on a micro level.
Pokémon Go, the AR gaming app that swept across the world inspired gamers to go outside and chase down virtual Pokémons. Players go to new places and discover things about their city or neighborhood that may have previously overlooked.
AR is about getting people up off the couch and into new, sometimes odd, places. It can certainly spur activity, motivate discovery, and produce changes in trends and habits.
Translation technology is creating new lines of communication and eliminating language barriers. From programs such as Rosetta Stone to the Google Translation app travelers now have the tools to immerse themselves in a culture and interact with locals.
Imagine sitting in a French café with no knowledge of the language and attempting to order dinner. Previously, one would open up a pocket-sized English-French dictionary and flip through pages to try and understand what a Confit de Canard is. Now, travelers can use an app to scan the text on the menu and have it translated in real-time.
Translation technology creates a better understanding and deeper appreciation for new places.
Machine learning algorithms that erase language barriers are empowering travelers to interact with their surroundings. They eliminate one more barrier to visit foreign destinations that were not previously in the consideration set.
The ubiquity of sharing platforms is also fueling travelers’ confidence and allowing them to be more exploratory. With ride-sharing services like Uber a seamless and consistent global experience is accessible to travelers. It takes away the stress of hailing a taxi, trying to provide an address and directions when you don’t speak the language and worrying about being overcharged. Even the need to carry around stacks of local currency is being eroded as mobile payment platforms become more advanced and available.
All these technologies are transforming the ways we move about our neighborhoods, expanding the destinations we seek to visit, and enhancing the level at which we engage with our surroundings. Technology has made the world more accessible and removed the fear of exploring exotic, far off destinations. It allows travelers to experience the place before they visit and immerse themselves into the culture once they arrive.
This new age of global migration is fueling the next generation of travelers and creating new opportunities to reach and engage with them.
Travel Beyond Tech
There might be even more astonishing technologies in the the future, like hovercrafts, autonomous cars, and the Hyperloop which will forever change how people travel. But what’s more important today, is how technology is changing the way people view and think about travel. So, when these inventions hit the market in a few years, the desire and mindset will already exists to make them mainstream.
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