WTM 2014: Sabre predicts mainstream future for virtual reality and wearables

By Travolution
By Travolution
November 4, 2014 02:50 PM GMT

Image via Hattanas Kumchai / Shutterstock.com

Virtual reality and wearable technology could soon be embraced by travel agents and industry suppliers.

Experts at global technology firm Sabre are experimenting with hardware that could become mainstream in coming years.

Joakim Everstin, the company’s innovations manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was speaking to delegates at World Travel Market in London during a session moderated by Travolution editor, Lee Hayhurst.

He said new technology could perform a number of functions in the travel value chain, including customer service, sales and communications.

“Travel agents could use smartwatches to send post-booking notifications,” said Everstin.

“And airlines could also use the technology to poll passengers’ experience immediately after a flight.”

The Swede said wearable technology combined with GPS chips could also help hoteliers to improve service.

He said hotel staff could use devices to track a guest’s movements in the hotel, and make relevant offers depending on behaviour and preference.

For example, if the guest is away from the room, housekeeping may send a message to ask if they can access the room to clear.

Bar staff could also offer drinks and snacks at appropriate times.

Everstin noted that Thomas Cook and Google have already invested in virtual reality technology to showcase holidays and destinations.

He quoted colleague Tony Brice of Sabre Labs, who said in the future consumers would make decisions holidays based on virtual experiences.

Global hotel chain Marriott recently launched a global virtual reality marketing strategy, using Oculus Rift technology to attract consumers.

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