The travel industry is expanding both in terms of reach and technology. For example, you can check out a list of the top ten space travel companies to watch in 2017 here. But space isn’t the only innovation in travel.
With other new inventions such as virtual reality and augmented reality, how we define travel is changing as well. Sometimes, we travel without even leaving our homes. Others, we might get an augmented peek into the past.
We also no longer have to travel “alone” with artificially intelligent travel assistants and chatbots to help guide us along our journeys.
In fact, the travel industry is so ripe for disruption that Scott Alvis of Amadeus states that “disruption is the new normal.”
Check out these ten disruptive companies in the travel industry to watch in 2017.
Skylights, like InFlight VR which we mentioned in the Top 10 Companies Disrupting the Aerospace Industry, is bringing virtual reality to flights. They are a subscription service that provides airlines all of the necessary components to offer their passengers virtual reality entertainment while in the sky.
Sturfee is also working with virtual reality as well as augmented reality, and they combine both with artificial intelligence. It’s their aim to allow users to virtually explore neighborhoods. Of course, this could have major impacts on real estate (link) as well as travel. Imagine being able to explore the area around where you’re staying before you ever make the trip. It could make for much easier planning of where to go and what to do once you’re there. At the time of this writing, their site is not currently live, but is expected to be soon.
Zumata is an IBM Watson ecosystem partner bringing artificial intelligence to travel technology. They offer hotel booking solutions as well as AI solutions to travel agencies, loyalty companies, those who work in corporate travel, and so much more. They offer an intelligent travel agent and a hotel booking API that covers over 550,000 hotel properties over 60+ global hotel suppliers.
WT InfoTech deals in the sorts of augmented reality travel solutions that many of us have already come to love for things like museums. As our VR technology progresses, their expertise in this realm is worth watching to see how they can expand on this industry. They also offer street-level augmented reality for extra information about a curious traveler’s location.
Kompas is using artificial intelligence to create personal travel recommendations for users. They help you around the city by providing reviews of locations, aggregating tips from seasoned travelers, and provided custom recommendations as it learns users’ travel habits. It even claims it can find “underground passages and low-key jazz bars.” This sounds like a city-traveler’s dream come true.
Sure is an artificially intelligent chat bot to help users decide the best place for food and drinks. They aim to help users feel better about their every day decisions. It has a social aspect where you can see where your friends and influencers you care about are eating. Sure is still in private beta, and you can sign up on their website.
Alterra.ai is combining deep learning and travel to create artificially intelligent travel assistant messenger bots. It understands plain English and can recommend destinations based on a user’s own travel preferences. It can show users where to go based on a theme or activities, give users ideas about what to do once you’re there, and help users book both a flight and a hotel.
Oskar also uses artificial intelligence to create a personal, virtual assistant for travelers. Users speak to the personal assistant in plain English to help plan and manage their trips.
Unboundly harnesses big data to make international travel more affordable to their users. They help users find the best destinations, the best time to go, and flight packages that are more efficient and affordable than pre-packaged plans. They’re currently in their pre-launch phase and are offering early sharers a chance to win a free flight anywhere in the world.
Piligrim XXI claims to be a “time machine in your pocket.” Using augmented and virtual reality, users can see on their smart phone things that used to be where they’re standing. For example, missing buildings and structures from historical events may be shown to users in overlays. Imagine seeing Rome in all it’s glory right alongside its current state!