Echo in hotel rooms, HotelTonight gives Perks, and more…

This is a roundup for product news and announcements for travel DEVICES in tourism and hospitality for September 2016.

Thursday 29 September 2016:

Amazon Echo in hotel rooms

  • The voice-recognition device will be available for hotel rooms through a deal with tech provider Exa. The system allows guests to order room service, request houskeeping, book hotel services, ask for local information and find recommendations.

HotelTonight gives Perks

  • The late-booking mobile app launches the Perks facility so that loyal members can better rates from properties listed in the system. Three tiers of Perks are available, with the highest giving additional discounts, exclusive offers and “VIP customer support”.

Wednesday 28 September 2016:

Kayak on Alexa in the UK

  • Owners of an Alexa voice recognition device from Amazon, just released in the UK, will now be able to search for flights, hotels and car rental via the integrated Kayak app. Other functionality includes the Kayak Flight Tracker and destination finder.

Tuesday 27 September 2016:

EasyJet renews mobile tech deal with MTT

  • The European low-cost carrier will continue its long-term partnership with Travelport-owned MTT to develop and manage its mobile services. The pair created the airline’s first mobile application in 2011.

Friday 23 September 2016:

TripIt upgrades for iOS10

  • The business travel planning application has launched a number of new features for the switch to the latest Apple operating system. Two include the addition of iMessage tools for communications and the ability to send hotel reservations, flight information and other plans to TripIt from the app, and real-time flight alerts for Pro users.

Monday 19 September 2016:

Travelport adds M-Pesa and Airtel support

  • Travel agencies in Kenya will have the ability to pay for services using the popular mobile money transfer services, M-Pesa and Airtel. The functionality will be available through the Travelport Smartpoint platform, powered by 3G Direct Pay.

Thursday 15 September 2016:

Alexa has UK launch with Skyscanner

  • The Amazon-backed voice recognition system will be available in the UK for the first time, with the metasearch engine powering a flight search app within the device. Alexa listens to human questions and then returns results with details on how to make the booking.

Minube has an iMessage

  • Users of the iOS-powered version of the travel planning service’s app can now use iMessage to communicate with fellow members and discover destinations for a trip. Once distance and interests are decided, users are given recommendations by the app to a destination that best suits a particular set of characteristics for those in the discussion.

Tuesday 13 September 2016:

Minube claims one million downloads

  • The travel planning service has achieved what it calls a milestone following the one millionth download on Android of its mobile application. The service now features 60,000 destinations around the world, two million points of interest, and has registered almost 800,000 trips by its users.

Monday 5 September 2016:

Virgin Atlantic goes live on-board

  • Passengers on the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners will be able to watch live television channels (CNN, BBC World News and Sport 24, initially), with all 13 of its aircraft fitted by the end of 2016. Virgin partnered with Panasonic Avionics and IMG to launch the system – via back-seat in-flight entertainment or streamed through a passenger’s own device.

NB: Travel devices image via Shutterstock.

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