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Alexa, Reserve my Seat: Will voice activation change the future of travel?

September 16, 2022


By Erica Antony
Chief Product Officer, CWT

Back in 2012, Google launched voice search, which at the time was somewhat of a novelty.  Since then, voice activation has become increasingly widespread. One estimate by digital agency DBS Interactive puts the percentage of adults using voice search at least once per day at 41%. Everything from asking your smart speaker for the weather forecast to turning the lights on and off is becoming common place.

What is voice activation?

Activating a service using your voice relies on voice recognition technology.  It’s a software program that has the ability to decode the human voice, sometimes referred to as voice-activated or speech recognition software. The spoken language is converted into text by speech recognition algorithms. It’s a particularly accessible way of getting help with information.

The use of smart speakers and mobile phones has driven increases in use of voice activation.  However adoption has also increased with advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that are better able to recognize words and phrases in order to learn and provide better responses. 

Voice activation in business travel

Most of us are already familiar with the increasingly everyday uses of voice activation at home, with devices such as mobile phones and smart speakers. However, the potential applications for the technology are much further reaching.

In business travel, we’re already seeing voice activation employed by some hotels, allowing guests to easily control heating, lighting and other environmental preferences in their rooms. Meanwhile, one leisure brand is using the technology to facilitate rapid reservations and itinerary management.

A global airline company is using it to help their customers pack smarter, offering an assistant that tailors the information provided based on their trip.  

These are all significant steps to what CWT believes will be a more widescale adoption of voice activation to get the right services simply by speaking to a device, moving from an everyday technology in our personal lives, to supporting business users taking their next trip. 

 As we celebrate our 150 years in travel, we’re looking ahead, eager to see what these and other innovations will mean for the future of travel — and excited to be at the forefront in forging that future.

Watch CWT’s  Senior Director Global Innovation Joel Hanson and I as we explore how your voice could be the key to unlocking how you travel in the future: