The global technology company, Sabre, has been showcasing potential uses and applications for wearable devices in travel, including its own prototype Google Glass Flight Search app, which can find flights based on a user’s simple voice command: “Ok Glass, find a flight from London Heathrow to the beach in December”.
Wearable technology is fast becoming a prominent means of customer notification and communication; it is currently a £400m industry and is expected to reach £7.5bn by 2018. With 19% of Brits already “willing to use a wearable device that monitors location, and 53% of Generation Y “excited” about the future of wearables, it’s a trend Sabre is seriously exploring.
Joakim Everstin, Head of Innovation at Sabre Travel Network, Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “We’re only beginning to understand the potential for wearables but there are already some very obvious uses for it. Google recently said Android users check their phones on average 125 times a day. Many of these are quick glances but it’s these very interactions that smart watches will start providing a better experience for –by allowing airlines or travel agents to quickly communicate with the traveller en route. There’s a real opportunity for travel companies to own the traveller once their trip has started, and if they don’t do it, someone else will. You need to disrupt yourself first or face being disrupted.”
With technology and gadgets already a critical part of travel, Sabre believes wearable technologies – such as smart watches and heads-up devices like Google Glass – could bring about real step-change in the way businesses market and sell travel, and the way consumers experience it. By creating the flight search app, Sabre hopes to inspire the industry about the possibility of using new devices in travel.