Think smart watches, Google Glasses, talking belt buckles and technology that is wearable. Technological innovations will drastically alter a traveler’s experience, and ultimately the industry of travel, says Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network.
Webb marked the release of the Sabre Red Mobile Workspace, an app that gives travel agents the ability to serve customers on the go, with a bylined feature on Sabre News.
Among Webb's key points: travel agents must anticipate and exploit consumers desire for mobility tools, the future reality of big data and the industry’s ability to collect it, analyze it and use it to create a new, more personal travel experience.
Webb's viewpoint on how mobile technology will change travel (in full):
"As a father of three Generation Z’ers, I’m able to watch first-hand the impact mobile technology has on their life. If their smartphone, tablet or high-speed internet is unavailable, it’s downright catastrophic. Unfortunately I can’t say much, because I’m the same way. Look around the office, the mall, even schools…it’s apparent we are a mobile society with digital-connectivity engrained in our DNA.
This week, we announced the Sabre Red Mobile Workspace, an app that gives travel agents the ability to serve customers on the go. Travel professionals today need to serve their customers wherever they may be and whenever the customer needs support. Sabre Red Mobile Workspace is the answer for our customers who operate in our mobile-driven culture. But what about tomorrow? How will mobile technology change travel in the future?
From a general marketplace perspective, tablets are just the first stop on the path to mobile innovation. Over the next five-to-10 years, the lines between offline, online, mobile and social will blur and eventually disappear. With the launch of Google Glasses, we are already on our way toward “wearable technology.”
In the future, a large portion of the population will embrace wearable computing, and that will have a dramatic impact on how we shop and buy goods and services.
Whether it’s a smart watch that reads your email, a belt buckle that lets you answer your phone, or interactive glasses that display an Internet search via a virtual screen…our “fashionable” accessories will become powerful mini-computers, networked with other devices and accessing content in different ways. We’re also already beginning to see new location and proximity-based services like Field Trip, an app that lets you explore a new city by alerting you when you’re approaching something interesting. These technological innovations, and others, are set to drastically alter a traveler’s experience, and ultimately the industry of travel.
Coupled with mobility, a key component of this future reality is big data and the industry’s ability to collect it, analyze it and use it to create a new, more personal travel experience. Sabre already handles an exorbitant amount of data which we affectionately refer to as “mega data.” And we are using that vast data to unlock fresh insights for our customers so they can do more to personalize their service and offerings for their customers.
Because ultimately, consumers want the shopping, buying, and travel experience to be about them and what they want – not what the masses want.
Thanks to the advances we’re seeing in mobility and data analytics, travel companies including suppliers and travel agencies will be able to give travelers the highly personal, largely frictionless travel experience they desire."