The travel industry is talking a lot about voice-powered search these days, thanks in part to Alexa — a personal assistant developed by Amazon that uses artificial intelligence to understand simple voice commands.
Skyscanner was the first travel search company to tap the power of Alexa, enabling consumers to search for flights by speaking.
Today metasearch company Kayak debuted its integrations with Alexa. Consumers can now use natural-language voice commands to search for flights, hotels, and rental cars, request tracking updates on flights, and ask inspirational questions such as “Where can I go for $600?”
Alexa is software that uses artificial intelligence. While as of today the devices that work with it so far are only sold by the e-commerce giant — Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap or Amazon Fire TV — Amazon has released the technology so that other device makers can use it.
The software also integrates with all sorts of third-parties. (Other travel brands, such as Uber, have been announcing integrations.)
Part of Alexa’s appeal is that it lives inside home appliances, and many families report (via more than 35,000 reviews on Amazon) that speaking commands out loud is becoming second nature. Sorry, Siri. There is no need to take out a phone, and Alexa is always listening — no button needs to be pushed.