Kayak tests SMS-trip tips, Esplorio tracks trips, CityMaps2Go adds content, and more…

This is a roundup of product news and announcements for travel DEVICES in tourism and hospitality for December 2015.

Thursday 24 December 2015:

Kayak experiments with SMS-messaging

  • The US-based metasearch giant confirmed with Tnooz that it is experimenting with an SMS-based travel service called Kayak Snap. A spokesperson says the service will involve a combination of artificial intelligence, humans, and Kayak’s engine. During the beta testing, members of its engineering team are handling travel questions that come in. The beta has been released to a small group of Kayak power users.”

Wednesday 23 December 2015:

Esplorio tracks travellers through Apple app

  • Backed by the European Space Agency, Esplorio allows users to plot a trip on a map using their iOS-hosted device and upload photos to create a travel journal. The startup claims to have 250 users signed up to its pre-launch beta access and works in a similar way to TripAdvisor’s latest upgrade (to track mobility) and Firefly.

Tuesday 22 December 2015:

CityMaps2Go discovers new app

The Ulmon-operated mobile app for travel planning has launched Discover, a content-driven feature that allows users to find relevant travel ideas and information. Discover learns from in-app behaviour and searches to provide content and destination guides. Ulmon claims the Android and Apple app has been downloaded over 15 million times.

Wednesday 16 December 2015:

Adria Airways unleashes IFE

  • Adria Airways has rolled out inflight entertainment across its 11-strong fleet. The initiative, called OnAir, is part of a wider digital strategy which also includes a new website.

Qatar Airways signs three-year wifi deal

  • Ooredoo has been announced as the three-year sponsor of wifi on board all of the Qatar Airways fleet.

AeroMobile launches inflight 3G

  • Aeromobile has got together with Panasonic Avionics to unveil an inflight 3G network. The service should mean the inflight experience is closer to what users have on the ground in terms of faster browsing and bigger attachments. AirBerlin’s fleet will have the 3G service installed in the coming months.

Friday 11 December 2015:

Jet Airways finds time for Apple Watch app

  • Indian domestic and international carrier Jet Airways has launched an app for the Apple Watch, which feature flight status updates, alerts and promotional messages. Jet, which is an Etihad Airways Partners, says it is the first Indian airline to offer passengers an Apple Watch app.

Wednesday 9 December 2015:

GeekGaps introduces Trip Wire for Groupon app

  • The Apple device app works by automatically sending a traveller a Groupon offer when they are in a certain location. The app also switches to the local Groupon system provider when a traveller moves between countries.

Friday 4 December 2015:

IHG app gets Uber integration

  • The partnership will give users of the IHG mobile apps access to a dedicated Uber offer channel where guests can call a driver from any hotel in the US. First-time users get a discount on their ride and 2,000 points added to the IHG Rewards Club scheme.

Thursday 3 December 2015:

Detour expands to new cities

  • The audio city guide app, fronted by ex-Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, will now be available for iPhone devices and is planning to launch in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York during 2016. The app is available for $25.

British Airways introduces scanners for Apple Watches

  • Passengers with an Apple Watch will be able to check-in using their device at service desks in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 and 5. The watch is said to account for 5% of total usage of the airline’s mobile application.

Wednesday 2 December 2015:

Carlson Wagonlit Travel provides more help via app

  • CWT has boosted its CWT To Go app making it easier for traveller’s trips to be monitored by those who booked them. All forthcoming trip data is now synched with the app and travel consultants can also send an SMS with any changes from within the service. The latest version of the service also includes enhanced airport maps and an extension of the ‘click-to-call’ service so travellers can get in touch with a consultant. The next stage will enable consultants to book travel and manage profiles using the app.

Latam Airlines invests in onboard tablets

  • Latam Airlines’ Lan and Tam are providing 3,000 pilots and cabin crew with tablets removing the need for computers and documents on the aircraft. The carriers hope the initiative will reduce information processing time as well as the weight of aircraft, which should reduce CO2 emissions as a result. Latam says the information management process will reduce at in some cases from 15 days to one day.

NB: Travel devices image via Shutterstock.

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