In its current state, Expedia is already an efficient and worthwhile companion to travelers. It allows users to book flights, hotels, cars, and more. The process is pretty smooth, this I can say having used the service a number of times since 2015.
Expedia obviously wants to grow better from this point. They have spent at least $1 billion to develop new technologies that would ultimately better the Expedia product and the experience of its users.
In a demo at their Singapore office, it is announced that the travel giant is going all-out with virtual reality (V.R.), making it possible for users to practically “step into” their hotel room before even booking.
“If you’re going to make the decision of [booking] a cruise, wouldn’t it be cool if you could check out the ship [virtually] before you spend that much money?” said Arthur Chapin, Expedia’s Senior Vice President, Product and Design.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a complete V.R. experience if users aren’t able to interact with their surroundings. Mashable reports that the experience allows for simple functions such as sliding open doors and stepping out into the balcony.
In addition to VR, Expedia is also looking for smart, efficient ways to integrate voice. “I think voice is something that will become a part of how people interact with travel,” said Mr Chapin. “So we’re continuing to experiment with voice, and chatbots — not only on the consumer side but also on the partner side, so our hotel [clients] can interact with us through such chats.”
Check out Mashable’s video from the demo here.