The advances of modern travel in this computer age have grown by leaps and bounds, and have so far exceeded expectations. Obviously, the pinnacle of travel hasn’t been reached yet; more innovations are still to come.
Setting your sights in the near future, what sophisticated technology can you expect to revolutionize the way you will travel? For 2015, you can get a few ideas from “The Best New Travel Technology” posted in Telegraph Travel – Travel Advice Section. This article written by Donald Strachan highlights the best of what’s to come.
Your Reality, Augmented
“Imagine if your phone could use GPS information and a compass to lead you to the nearest restaurant or cash machine. In fact, it already can: welcome to “augmented reality”, or AR, a technology that overlays digital information on a real-world view, typically using your mobile phone’s camera and screen.”
Imagine pointing your phone at a building and seeing what’s inside and its history. This kind of travel information started in 2010; it is just the beginning. Expect more from it according to James Governor of the Redmonk.
The Android-iPhone Shoot-out
“This year will be the year we do a lot more miles on our mobiles. For travellers, it’s all about the applications, or “apps”, easy-to-use mini-programs that run on your phone handset. An app can find you on a map, point you to local restaurant reviews, remember where you parked your car, or even replace your guidebook…”
Apple, despite its clouts and power, will not be able to monopolize the travel technology scene.
Other players with Androids are as eager to take a bite on the pie- Google’s Android mobile operating system as well as new handsets from Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and Samsung …
e-Reading on the beach
“Amazon’s Kindle ($259–$489, from Amazon.com only) and the Sony eReader (£139–£219) blazed the e-book trail; now we have Apple’s iPad, too. Lonely Planet already has more than 600 titles available, all of which you can now carry in a package weighing about 1lb.”
These will not be the end of the list; you can expect more publishers forging alliances with technology companies to bring travelers more e-books. For instance, The Nook, an eReader from Barnes & Noble, was released in the United States. There were a few others that made it in 2014’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas such as Que from Plastic Logic, and the Skiff.
“Searching the web means typing in words and expecting Google, Bing or Yahoo! to deliver the answer. It’s the way we’ve got used to working, but it’s not how real human beings sift information. We want to know what’s nearby, what our friends like. Improvements in local search, social search and visual search will do just that.”
Can it get better than that? It can … with image-recognition. According to Robin Frewer of Google it is “the key area” for Google. It is based on vision research known as Image Swirl. This will be developed in line with finding holidays from the Internet.
Taking Online Offline Again
“Research shows that watching a video increases our willingness to buy a holiday and lifts the amount we spend. “Six of the 10 most visible holiday websites include video right now. That figure will be 10 out of 10 by the end of this year,” says Dave Howard at the online video company Trailstream.”
This emphasizes the importance of having a gizmo that can help you access these apps. For this, you will need one with a huge touch-screen, such as the Microsoft Surface. It has the potential to bring glamor back into the travel-agent experience, if and when the costs of the hardware become cheaper.
Free Lunches All Round
“Last month, Nokia started giving away point-to-point satnav on its leading smartphones. Footprint Guidebooks, which recently formed a partnership with online travel community Tripwolf.com, will relaunch its website next month, complete with “around 60 per cent” of the information from Footprint guidebooks.”
There are more freebies around the Web. Frommers.com is full with content. DK Travel has s travel guide you can get from its website. Google has Wi-Fi at 54 American airports during holidays. The Lonely Planet has Trippy, a trip-planning gadget for Google Wave users.
To know “how technology will change travel in 2015,” check it out and what Telegraph Travel’s Donald Strachan thinks of the new trends for hardware and software this 2015.