Expedia has been given a makeover and joins the use of voice assistants to offer a personalised, interactive service for managing your trips. The new app lets you book hotels, flights and tours through voice commands on any Google Assistant-enabled device.
In June of this year, Tony Donohoe, the then CTO at Expedia, announced the launch of the Expedia Action app for Google Assistant. The app is designed to help you plan your trips and make it easier to find flights, hotels, rent cars, check-in, and much, much more. The only thing you need to do is link your Expedia account to Expedia Action, say “Ok Google, talk to Expedia” and sign into your account. That’s it!
But how does this app work? Well, searches require very advanced and intuitive algorithms as very often there’s more than one alternative or option. When each question has several answer options, this is known as a decision tree, and each tree is made up of complex, multiple branches. Expedia and Google Assistant won’t be able to offer you the perfect travel recommendations until it knows you “completely”, but for starters, they have made sure to design an infinite variety of options and possibilities where one or two answers will meet most of your expectations.
However, the developers have gone one step further, not only are they satisfied with recommending where to go, checking prices, dates and prices, they also suggest what you need to take with you, the weather forecast and other different recommendations based on the purpose of your trip, whether it’s work, family or romantic.
One thing we cannot leave out or ignore is the effort made by both Google and Expedia to be more transparent, an important issue for Google as it’s shutting down the social network Google + after discovering a data breach. Now, both Expedia and Google aim to increase transparency and security in the handling of private data and the use of devices.
For now, the app is available in English for U.S. customers only, but Expedia has promised more countries and languages will soon be added, and it will also be available for both iPhone and Android.
We’ll continue to follow this new app closely to see if the future of tourism really lies in voice-based search.