Google And Other Big Brands Pouring Millions Into Travel Tech

Posted: May 2 2017, 1:53am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

 
Google And Other Big Brands Pouring Millions Into Travel Tech
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The travel industry is ripe for the picking when it comes to developing innovative technology. Travel – especially when it involves airplanes and airports – is notoriously filled with pain points. For companies that are able to reduce friction, the sky's the limit. And the good news for regular travelers is that a number of big brands are pouring millions of dollars into travel tech innovation.

From Google to Amazon: Staggering Innovation in Travel Tech Space

The potential ROI that comes from an investment in travel technology is so high that it attracts everyone from big brands like Google and Amazon to smaller niche tech companies looking for their first big break. Specifically, we’re seeing a lot of innovation in terms of mobile devices, apps, and smartphone gadgets.

1. Google’s Trip App

While it’s been out since last year, Google’s Trips app just recently added some new features that make it even more useful. The app, which is designed to compile all of a traveler’s information into a single place, can now automatically pull train and bus tickets from a user’s Gmail address (in addition to flight, hotel, and car reservations).

“It sounds small, but that addition really sells me on using this app: I have a trip planned a couple months from now, and the app automatically pulled in my flights, Airbnb reservation, and three train tickets I have booked,” tech blogger Jacob Kastrenakes notes. All of this information can also be stored and accessed offline, which is great when for when you’ll be traveling in an area with no/limited access to the internet.

2. PhoneSoap

Did you know that the average smartphone carries 18-times more bacteria than a public restroom? Considering that people frequently handle their phones and put them on and around their faces, this is pretty disgusting. And things definitely don’t get better when traveling. Between airplane tray tables, hotel rooms, and restaurants, a traveler’s phone picks up a lot of germs along the way.

PhoneSoap is one technology that’s attempting to bring a little cleanliness to cellphones. Their product is the PhoneSoap UV Sanitizer, which cleans germy items like phones, keys, smart watches, and even credit cards without the use of water. Plug it in and watch it work!

3. Chipolo Plus Travel Tracker

Little tracking devices have been out for a while, but the new Chipolo Plus is specifically designed with travelers in mind. It can be placed on a key ring, in a wallet, or on any other object that a traveler doesn’t want to lose, and that object suddenly becomes trackable via GPS.

The great thing about the Chipolo Plus is that it’s water resistant and doesn’t need a battery. All a user has to do is press a button on the accompanying app and the item they’re looking for will audibly ring. For travelers, one of the better applications is to place a tracker inside luggage to help with lost luggage issues.

4. Oaxis Air Scale

Few things are worse than having to pay an outrageous fee for checking a bag that doesn’t meet the airline’s restrictions. But finding a scale to weigh a bag before arriving at the airport isn’t always easy. That’s why Oaxis has developed an “air scale” that requires nothing more than a small device that doubles as a portable phone charger.

The digital scale simply attaches to a bag’s handle and requires the user to lift the bag off the ground. The scale will present readings up to 88 pounds (and weighs just 5.5 ounces itself). It’s a must-have for frequent travelers.

What’s Next?

The future is bright for travel technology, but that discounts the present. There’s certainly a lot of potential down the road, but the technology that’s currently in the marketplace is pretty astounding, too. When big brands like Google and Amazon are investing millions of dollars into a niche that has nothing to do with their core business, it’s clear that something big is happening.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/68" rel="author">Larry Alton</a>
Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

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