Technology has had another impressive run this year. Industry experts pick the top apps, gadgets and websites that were eyeball grabbing
Vice president & regional managing director, Asia-Pacific
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City launched a scavenger hunt on Foursquare, inviting people to find and check into modernist architectural sites across the city for rewards. The use of technology to mix e-commerce and gaming is an effective way to engage consumers, particularly the Gen Y and Millennials. At the same time, the social engagement aspect of this was brilliant, as it made people experience art within the city before even entering the museum.
Commercial director, Asia-Pacific
HRS – Hotel Reservation Service
I would like to highlight DriveNow, a car-sharing app developed by BMW and Sixt in Germany featuring BMW i, Mini and BMW vehicles. I used it in Germany and I love it because it is practical and pleasant to use, catering to the new needs of mobile users. This modern application is user-friendly and a real innovation – perfect for savvy mobile consumers.
Amadeus Asia Pacific
I love the idea of the Get Home Safe app, which tracks whether you get home safely after an activity and calls for help if you don’t.
As a father of two, this is exactly the kind of thing that can help me get rid of that persistent worry at the back of my mind. But whether you are a parent or a travel consultant with a duty of care responsibility, it has the potential to be used by anyone in any market. It’s just simple and clever.
Director of mobile partnerships, Asia-Pacific
The innovation that wowed me most this year is Phonebloks, an open-concept modular hardware platform that enables you to set up a smartphone to your liking, with the initial idea to reduce waste but with many more possibilities. I’d describe it as the ‘Android approach to hardware’ and hence it was not surprising that Google’s subsidiary Motorola Mobility announced Project Ara, taking the Phonebloks concept to the next level. Why is this great for travel? Imagine the possibilities of replacing a smaller screen and a QWERTY keyboard that you use on your business phone with a better camera, bigger battery and an additional SIM card slot for your next international trip. The options are endless!
I have been very interested in the varieties of wristband health monitors – I’m currently testing the Jawbone UP. You can build a personalised ‘health team’, track how much exercise you get, log your meals and even track your sleep patterns. All of this connects to your social network and helps drive motivation, gamifying your health progress. This space will be big in coming years, and important for travellers or executives who travel often and want to maintain consistency in their fitness regimen.
Co-founder & COO
My favorite travel site for 2013 is www.routehappy.com. Routehappy helps me to see which airlines are popular on certain routes and what are the specific features/services that make an airline popular, e.g. is the seat comfortable, is there Wi-Fi, can I charge my devices, is it a new or old plane, is there in-flight entertainment and is it good, etc. This value proposition is unique to Routehappy as such information is difficult or even impossible to find on some airline and OTA websites.
The information provided is largely objective as it comes directly from fellow travellers and not a merchant with a vested interest in selling you a ticket.
General manager, Asia-Pacific
An app that I love is Trover. It’s a really good example of how the combination of social and mobile can be brought together to enrich the travel experience in a personalised way. It’s like exploring a city with your own guide in your pocket and is a great enabler of independent travellers the world over.
General manager of South-east Asia & India
As a frequent flyer, I love checking out and discovering travel apps. Mobiata, which was acquired by Expedia, develops some award-winning travel apps that have had millions of downloads. FlightTrack, for instance, has caught my eye with its comprehensive way of monitoring flight information such as weather updates, flight delays, terminal maps and more. What’s more, all their apps are incredibly intuitive, beautifully designed and are constantly breaking new boundaries.