Apple iOS 6 developments will put travel companies on high alert
Three elements stand out for travel when it comes to Apple’s iOS 6 release which is likely to be the back end of this year.
In order of significance, the first is Passbook – a wallet type function which carries an electronic version of all your store cards, event tickets, memberships and airline boarding passes.
And, many are heralding this as the ‘first step towards an iTravel ecosystem‘ where iPhone devices carry almost everything a consumer needs to get around, shop, travel etc.
In addition, the digital cards can receive live updates, alert consumers to vital information such as flight delays and use geolocation to bring up the relevant information.
Apple has already paved the way for iTravel with applications for a series of patents including mock-ups and then adding further pre and post-trip functionality via additional patents just three months later.
But, this puts in place a final piece of the puzzle in terms of the transaction with Apple already having the widely accepted and familiar iTunes infrastructure in place.
The second development of note is that Apple has created its own mapping technology from scratch and included elements such as a 3D ‘Flyover’ view with many cities around the world already modeled, location-based information such as images, reviews and ratings via Yelp and spoken directions via Siri for every turn you make.
Of the mapping development Apple boss Tim Cook says:
“This is a worldwide effort. We’re covering the world.”
Just think what that could do for destination management companies, hotel concierges and just about everyone who has ever been lost in a foreign destination.
Here’s a clip:
And speaking of Siri, the technology will be further integrated into iOS 6 with new languages and more information and the ability to access movie reviews and make restaurant reservations.
For better or worse, iOS 6 should be making travel companies sit up and take notice – iTravel could soon be knocking on the door.
The developments were announced at Apple’s developer conference WWDC 2012 in San Francisco yesterday.
Linda Fox is a reporter for Tnooz. For the past six years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.
In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.
Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.