Heading home for Christmas via IBM Smart Cloud MSP Blog

As we all prepare for traveling over the holidays, or driving home for Christmas, you might be pleased to hear that 43% of travel executives have identified a ‘cognitive project’ that could transform their company.

Moreover, 35% of travel executives say they can describe a company in the industry whose cognitive efforts they admire.

Clearly, the potential for cognitive computing, along with robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT), is now fully understood within the travel industry.

Exploiting the insights previously locked away in big data is set to transform every aspect of travel, from marketing and purchasing to the provisioning of services and post-travel engagement. It will also transform complex operations, while bringing travel providers closer to their customers.

So how will everyday travellers experience these projects and investments?


The Smart Cloud and a Personalised Travel Experience

Personalising each traveller’s experiences is the goal of must companies.

As it becomes increasingly possible to please each and every customer with outstanding services, it leads to a growth in brand loyalty.

Being aware of a particular customer’s likes and dislikes is a sure way of ensuring everything works out for them exactly as they’d prefer.

Imagine, for instance, how an airline or train company would alter their services if they understood how far and frequently each passenger travels, in a similar way to how retailers profile potential buyers.

Augmented artificial Intelligence (AI) chat-bots utilise natural language to help travellers arrange otherwise complicated travel searches, adding to the service by returning personalised results based on customer-specific preferences and patterns.

A large, global airline is already testing a conversational commerce system that, as it helps traveller book their seats, also collects preferences via natural language interactions.

This not only yields better traveller satisfaction as recommendations are more customised, but will also help the airline bypass traditional search engines and travel aggregators, where price is the primary differentiator.

Moreover, airlines following this line of investment will be more easily able to determine if a guests’ specific requirements were or weren’t met, leading to an improvement in services the next time they travel.


The Smart Cloud and Smoother Travel

KLM are interacting with travellers using robotics that scan passenger boarding passes, give advice on airport amenities, evaluate airport conditions, and offer suggestions about what to do before departure, taking into account weather conditions.

Anyone who’s been stuck in an airport, train or bus station during a snowstorm will be fully aware of the impact weather conditions can have on travelling.

And so incorporating predictive weather modelling into transportation operations can either alert travellers to or even prevent unnecessary service interruptions. Analytics can then provide operators with guidance on how to optimise schedules regarding passenger demand, such as deploying a second train to an overcrowded station.

For just as the planes, trains and buses themselves can now be tracked across entire networks, geolocation and data processing also allows the flow of people to be monitored.

With the availability of real-time notifications of the present location or delay of en-route services, travellers can be given directions to their gate, information regarding any security checks, and instructions on how to board.


The Smart Cloud and Reliable Travelling

You’ll also be gratified to know that you’ll be traveling on more reliable vehicles too.

Cognitive sensors placed on critical parts such as brakes, wheels and engines ensure both drivers and maintenance teams are kept wholly informed of the condition of the equipment. Through using analytics to predict any urgent issues, travel companies can ensure they fix equipment before it breaks and ruins your trip.

IoT applications can even bring down the price of your tickets by improving the fuel consumption and costs, with instructions on the best speeds and routes to take, along with the optimum time to refuel.

Once on board, the personalised service for the passengers continues.

IoT sensors embedded into the seats will be able to measure the anxiety level, heart rate, body temperature, hydration level, and so on of travellers, allowing staff to provide extra comfort to them.

These IoT applications will also help the travellers to connect with various devices they take along with them.


The Smart Cloud and Secure, Easy Touring

If you’re landing at an airport, then luggage recovery will soon be much more streamlined and fault-free.

Bags fitted with RFID tags can be located through smartphone apps, or, to put it another way, bags will be able to locate their owners, sending them signals by sensing the carousel they’re nearest to.

And as the luggage’s real-time location can be tracked, mislaid bags are recovered much more quickly, while security is substantially strengthened.

Indeed, the centralised administration of IoT-enabled cameras has led to a general improvement in security mechanisms across all areas of travel, including boarding points, offices, and outlying structures.

Your stay in the city will similarly be enhanced, as you’ll be able to locate and find information on everything you need using your smartphone.

Sensors are appearing everywhere in the modern city, from parks to parking areas, collecting data regarding travellers’ habits and their reactions to different attractions, determining patterns that will optimise the visiting tourists’ experience.


IBM Smart Cloud and Enjoying Your Stay

Your hotel will undoubtably pride itself on the personalised service it’s always offered.

IBM and Hilton are partnering to go even further and provide a unique guest experience.

A person’s stay, for instance, can be personalised with specific interest-related promotions, such as notifications and travel arrangements to attractions the guest is known to regularly enquire about or frequent.

The hotel can even prepare for any such specific contingencies, which is particularly useful if they’re accommodating for the requirements of a large group.

Indeed, hotels can now track supply chains more efficiently through sensors in shipments, enabling them to be ready for any future eventualities and avoid service disruptions to guests.


Making More of IBM Smart Cloud

From enabling automatic check-ins and check-outs to monitoring tourist and mechanical requirements, cognitive computing, robotics and IoT are all coming together to make things easier for travellers and organisers alike.

Modern technology has the potential to have a huge impact on every kind of enterprise, connecting smart devices, systems, and processes, automating operations across the board.

What kind of effect would IBM Big Data Analytics have if you applied it to your clients’ businesses?

You can explore how technology such as IBM Cloud and IBM Watson Analytics can extract more business value from your clients’ data here.

Then discover just how well smart, scalable IBM analytics and technologies understand business.


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