15 August 2012
Google just bought Frommer’s, the travel book people. As you point your smart phone at the DMX receiver or dial up console settings on your tablet, think about how the travel gig will change just as soon as Google and Apple are ready.
Apple have a slew of patents in the pipeline for the iPhone (read here) which promise to go a lot further than the Tripit app that keeps CX crew ontime and up to date with flights, hotel rooms and hire car reservations. Tripit is such a game changer for a half sozzled newsroom – we just forward our itinerary by email to ‘email@example.com’ and the machine does the rest. It recognises our email ‘from’ address and assembles a logical trip plan, accessible online or on the smart phone.
What Apple and Google are trying to do now is to control the entire travel experience. Along the way they will skim off micro commissions for referring you to hotels, airlines, rental cars and tour guides. You can bet they charge the travel providers heaps just to be online as well.
The Apple patents are very wide ranging.
You could book the trip (der), then choose seating allocation and check in for the flight. Yeah, we do that already online. OK, how about controlling the airline entertainment system, seat recline, reading light and ordering food? No trouble.
When you deplane, the Apple App will let your hotel know you are on the way, and direct you to a waiting taxi or rental car, also pre-warned you are coming. En route, it will check you in and get an electrionic room code so you can go straight to the room and use the phone to get in.
Room airconditioner too cold? The phone will fix it.
No kidding, before too long you may well not require rational thought!