Skyscanner has partnered with Amazon to integrate the Skyscanner flights API into Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa. This integration will allow users to ask Alexa to search Skyscanner for flight travel options, through Amazon Echo – the hands free device that connects to Alexa to provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, and more.
Skyscanner is the first travel search engine to integrate into Alexa. The conversational search, which leads the traveller through a series of questions to guide Alexa to the proper flight pursuit, was demonstrated at the Amazon Appstore Developer Summit on November 3rd.
In the Skyscanner Future of Travel 2024 report, published in 2014, the future of mainstream intelligent technology was explored. A reference was made to a ‘digital travel buddy’ that incorporated the latest voice-and gesture control. The report predicted that travel buddies would know a traveller’s behaviour patterns enough to suggest appropriate travel or even make the booking automatically.
With a Skyscanner search through Alexa, we are another step closer to that reality. David Low, Developer Advocate and Engineer, Skyscanner remarks that, "voice integration is an important feature for the travel industry, and the digital world in general. Conversational integration is appearing in everything from wearables to cars to mobile apps, reinforcing that conversation and messaging are fast becoming mainstream. We expect voice products to be a major driver for this mainstream adoption."
At Skyscanner we try hard to embed ourselves into new technologies as they emerge. Alexa and the Amazon Echo give us a platform to bring the digital travel buddy conversation to life.
Not quite yet available to the general public, but soon enough consumers will be able to ask Alexa to find them a flight as easily as manually searching on any mobile device.