Because of this we’re often asked to write white papers, be interviewed or speak at conferences about the future of travel online.
Factor 15 is the culmination of some of our thinking around the future of travel that was presented by our CEO, Jon Keefe at the last Travolution Summit. Here’s the gist of Jon’s talk.
I have a 16 year old daughter. She’s part of generation Z. This group are the first generation to grow up having not known life before the Internet. They get technology like it’s a second skin.
For example, my daughter will start a conversation with her friends at school, continue it using BBM on the way home and pick it up again on group Skype in the evening. The device they’re using doesn’t matter – touch, voice and gesture driven devices are ‘the norm’.
They embrace the idea of a shared experience and physical locations become unimportant.
Having said that, I guess there’s one thing that never changes – they still throw the odd strop now & then.
You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about 16 year old girls, well basically it’s because they’re the future. (Yeah, I know, I know).
At KMP, we understand how travel works online. The tried and trusted travel sites are largely the same. Search for your flights, search for your hotel, read some reviews on trip advisor and take your pick – you don’t get that personal, agent knowledge that you would get on the high street.
That led us to start thinking about how it could be different, what could be improved. What if we ripped up the rulebook for interfaces and designed a system that would enable true, real-time collaboration where groups could curate their holiday experiences with a system that learns with the group and offers suggestions accordingly.
What would a system or interface that does all those things look like?
Perhaps like this. We call it ‘Factor 15′.
Here Sarah has created a new travel board for the girls to start planning their holiday. You’ll see there are spaces on the board ready to fill for flights, hotels, dates, activities, upgrades etc.
Sarah invites her friends to the board and they start chatting about the trip. Messages from Facebook, twitter, BBM etc are pulled in automatically using a specific hashtag ensuring the whole conversation is tracked and recorded no matter what service or device is used.
Of course the girls are more likely to prefer using video chat in certain situations; well, not a problem the system can handle it. They’ll probably share their screen as well to show the others something they’ve found online. That’s another feature of the system, if you see something online you like the look of, whether it’s text, images, audio or video take a snip of it and it’s automatically added to your board.
That might be too much hassle though, if it is just use the in-built search engine (voice activated of course) to find what you need.
Let’s assume the girls have been chatting away for a while now without fixing on any particular details. Sarah comes back to the board to see how things are looking. The holiday is starting to build itself based on the conversations they’ve been having using real time language recognition but importantly with the added complexity of reading emotion as well.
To gain a different perspective on things Sarah switches to view her holiday experience graph. She can click on the points on graph and see which activities or excursions they relate to and she has her average score up there in the corner.
The girls want to find a little bit more about the scuba diving trip before committing to it so they click on one of the users to the right of the scuba detail to switch to a live review with someone who it on the holiday right now.
Ben is wearing his Google Glasses to provide a live feed from where he’s at with his holiday – he agreed to make himself available for a few hours for live reviews in exchange for 10% off his holiday.
The girls see the view from the beach, and can use augmented reality to learn a bit more about the dive location before clicking back into the experience graph.
The other graphs show other groups experiences when they’ve been on similar holidays, she clicks on one of the other points to see what it is. She adds the spa treatments to her trip right there and the graph shifts and adjusts it’s position and values for their trip.
Some of the girls have been continuing chatting which has opened up a few new avenues for different types of trips so the board zooms out to show all the choices available.
Eventually, after several days of planning on and off, some sort of consensus is reached. The planning is finalised and the girls can ‘Buy Now’ and being the payment process. They can add payments whenever they like, set up regular payments, buy credits for things to do while they’re away and make changes to their itinerary whenever they like.
Because the system was learning with them and helping to plan their trip it really is the trip of a lifetime.
You may have noticed I’ve spent the last 5 minutes talking about 16 year old girls and been wondering what that’s got to do with anything. Well here’s the thing if you can attract those 16 year old girls for their first holiday by giving them an unforgettable experience beginning with the online booking process you’ll have them for life.
They’ll travel with you when they’re on their 18-30 holidays, their city breaks with the girls, their singles holidays, their couples holidays, their family holiday’s and their multi-generational holidays. That is what factor fifteen provides a platform for.
16 year old girls aren’t just the future – they’re YOUR future.