Yesterday we wrote about how continuing growth of digital interaction would benefit the traveler before they leave on their trip. Now let’s take a look at how the innovations coming down the road will help a traveler on the road.
Biotechnology and biometric identification will become commonplace and, increasingly, biological authentication will take the place of passwords and passports. Fast, long-range retinal and fingerprint scanners, along with vein-matching hand scanners, will start to take the place of photographic IDs, allowing for fast and easy identification, as well as rapid personalization.
Advanced monitoring and universal databases of travelers will expand current Fast Pass systems to apply to nearly all business travelers who opt in. The TSA will be minimally invasive for frequent travelers, country entry requirements will be loosened, and passports will be digitally enabled to make the pre-flight screening process a breeze.
Smart, digital wallets
Kiss that cash goodbye. As banks, stores and transit become increasingly digital-friendly, payments – and wallets – will follow. Digital money transfers will become the norm. Scan, snap and tap-to-pay functions will be present for nearly all transactions, and smartphones, wristbands and other tech devices will become intelligent wallets. Travelers will also be able to track, log, and sync transactions across various devices, making budgeting and expense tracking easier than ever.
Connected systems and smart algorithms will make on-the-go decision making easier and more fluid than ever before. Traveler pain points such as missed connections, cancelled flights and delays will be easily handled, with travel agents able to quickly re-route and re-book travel without any input from the traveler. Contextual and consumer data together will allow services to be provided more proactively, with travel agents able to connect travelers to one another for more rewarding trips, in addition to solving problems before they happen.
Smart cities and first stage travel
As cities expand and urban centers become more complete, itineraries will be crafted with first-stage, door-to-door, travel in mind, creating the best end-to-end travel experience possible for business travelers. This includes smart city transportation and increasingly available high-speed train transit between regional hubs, as well as off-peak travel and improved commuting logistics.
With universally available Wi-Fi and wireless connectivity, and near-100% smart device penetration, people will come to expect 24/7 service from agents and service providers. Real-time language translation and video chat will make global face-to-face support as reliable as telephone service today, and ‘Mayday Button’ style instant access will make support services the go-to source for information and assistance. Technology will enhance human interaction, creating rich, ongoing relationships between agents and travelers instead of one-time service offerings.