If you’re a regular traveler, or your business is helping others travel or directly providing services to travelers, knowing about and availing yourself of recent developments is beneficial to you and your customers. Continuing advances in technology have fueled innovations to make traveling more convenient and enjoyable.
The IT solutions for the travel industry we’ll focus on are:
Virtual and augmented reality
Electronic ID scanners and passport readers.
The latter, in particular, is where Adaptive Recognition, a company that’s been leading the license plate recognition industry since 1991, can help you with. Aside from license plate recognition, they have also been developing electronic scanners since 2000. They produce some of the most capable and adaptable scanners available, including their most advanced model to date, Osmond.
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Robots to Assist You Are Everywhere
For many years, robots were the stuff of science fiction movies. Nowadays, they’ve come to participate actively in many aspects of everyday life. Robots’ first applications were in manufacturing industries, where many processes are repetitive, lending themselves well to automation. In many cases, the tasks they performed were relatively simple and unchanging.
The development that has brought robots more into everyday life, including the focus of our article, the travel services, is artificial intelligence (AI). AI provides a computerized machine with the ability to learn from feedback, so it improves its performance with experience.
There are numerous advantages to using robots where their “reasoning” functions are adequate to get a job done. This frees humans to do things where interpersonal relations are important, and robotic “intelligence” is not yet up to the necessary reasoning level. Among robots’ many advantages are:
- They do their work with unfailing accuracy, making no math or spelling mistakes or forgetting a step in a process
- They don’t get tired, bored, angry, sick, or take vacations
- Since they don’t get infected by human diseases, they don’t transmit them – and many people in these COVID-sensitive times are more comfortable with less personal contact
- They can function unperturbed in environments that are dangerous or uncomfortable for humans.
Of course, robots also have a few drawbacks:
- They can react only to the situations they’ve been taught to recognize, as unanticipated events may require human intervention
- Some people prefer human contact to a machine
- Purchase and maintenance of robots can be expensive
- They can malfunction.
Despite these drawbacks, there is no denying that robots are here to stay with us, especially in the travel industry. With that said, let’s look at a few areas where robots have become valuable IT solutions for the travel industry.
Services for Hotel Guests
Robots have become smart enough to check in guests who have a reservation.
They can produce a room key and arrange to have luggage automatically delivered to the guest’s room. If guests have special requests beyond what the robot can provide, the robot can offer an arrangement to contact a human clerk.
In fact, a robot doesn’t have to be visible at all; there is a chance that a robot might have taken your last reservation in the form of an online chatbot or at a travel agency. As for the luggage, some suitcases have a built-in capability to follow their owner. If the guest’s suitcases don’t have that feature, robotic luggage carts are available that can follow someone, basically working as a pseudo porter.
Aside from the above, robots can provide information, as a human concierge would, about restaurants, tourist attractions, and other features of the area that guests may find of interest. Similar concierge services can be helpful in travel agencies, airports, and wherever travelers want questions answered.
More than ever, airports and airlines are concerned about the possibility of weapons and other hidden prohibited items being carried in luggage. Robots can automatically scan each piece of luggage faster and more thoroughly than human security agents or trained animals, spotting anything harmful in an instance. And unlike humans and dogs, which can still make mistakes, a scanning robot is virtually infallible.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
These two phenomena of IT solutions for the travel industry use closely related technology to give travelers the experience of seeing something different from or beyond what they can see directly or with video as we usually experience it. The gaming industry originally developed the technology, and it was adopted early on by real estate agents to give their prospects an in-depth experience of visiting a home.
The images provided in these technologies tend to be very data-intensive, so 4G and 5G data systems and faster internet services have been a big factor in their increased use.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Hotels, travel agents, and anyone with potential travelers as customers can give their prospects and customers the unique experience of a hotel room, restaurant, or other feature, which people can view from their living room or smartphone.
Want to see what it feels like to view Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower? VR can provide that experience. You might get the feel of walking around a hotel suite you’re considering.
VR is one of the best IT solutions for the travel industry to keep your customers abreast of worldwide possibilities.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR imposes alternative views or information on a view someone is experiencing live, similarly to the “heads-up” display of instruments or navigation information in high-end cars and aircraft. It might give you a look at the view you’re seeing, but in a different season, or it might superimpose contact information or opening hours on what you’re looking at.
Getting Through Port Security and Immigration Checks Hassle-Free
Every form of transportation requires you to produce ID documents of some sort. For domestic travel, it may be just an identity card, boarding pass, and a vaccine certificate. International travel requires passports, visas, and sometimes more complex health-related documentation.
In the case of major port facilities, hundreds or thousands of travelers may need to get through these bottlenecks in a day, and, of course, there are concentrated times when large clusters of people can result in very long lines. Examining all these documents manually, especially during high-demand hours, can delay travelers and cause much frustration.
IT solutions like electronic passport scanners and other ID readers can process travel documents in seconds instead of the few minutes or more required by trained individuals. A bonus is that electronic scanning is accurate and automatically identifies fake or forged documents that might easily get by a human checker.
Electronic ID scanners, such as those developed and manufactured by Adaptive Recognition, have been available since the beginning of this century. Granted, documents were less sophisticated then, so electronic scanners were convenient but not necessary. In today’s COVID-complicated travel industry, however, many documents have encoded information invisible to the human eye, and travelers must carry several documents instead of one or two. As such, electronic scanners like Adaptive Recognition’s Osmond are must-have solutions for the travel industry.
Here, we‘ve discussed some of the most common uses of IT solutions for the travel industry. Technology advances at an ever-increasing rate, so there are and will be many more.
And Adaptive Recognition is always on the lookout for ways to improve its product line to support the needs of travelers and their service providers better. Visit their website to see how their ID scanners and other tools can help you offer faster and better service to your travelers.