Planning a stress-free vacation can be one of the most stressful tasks on your to-do list if you’re not strategic in your data collection. Luckily there are a wide-array of tools and websites that make booking, scheduling and updating your itinerary a breeze.
Starting this week Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that powers Amazon Echo, can now help users plan and track a trip through an integration with KAYAK. The launch of KAYAK on Alexa-enabled devices marks the first time that KAYAK has become accessible from anywhere other than a desktop or mobile device.
Equipped with the power of KAYAK and some of the site’s key features, including Explore and Flight Tracker, Alexa can access and share travel intel on demand.
From helping users dream up their next trip to providing practical information to guide the planning process, the KAYAK skill offers users a chance to discover places you can go within your budget: “Alexa, ask KAYAK: Where can I go for $300?”. Users can also Search flights, hotels and rental cars: “Alexa, ask KAYAK to search for hotels in Barcelona.” Access KAYAK’s Flight Tracker to stay up to date on expected arrivals and departures: “Alexa, ask KAYAK to track a flight.”
“Natural language processing is giving us the opportunity to explore new forums for KAYAK and new ways to make travel planning easier,” said Giorgos Zacharia, Chief Technology Officer, KAYAK. “We are helping to make Alexa a travel expert and in doing so, shaping the future of travel, which will seamlessly integrate voice, chat and new ways to plan and manage a trip. This is just the beginning.”
To jump-start trip planning and flight tracking, those with an Alexa-enabled device including Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap or Amazon Fire TV, can turn on the KAYAK skill in their settings menu in the Alexa app. From there, users just need to tell Alexa to “Open KAYAK” or “Ask KAYAK” to get started.
“We are excited to expand Alexa’s skill selection in the travel category through our work with KAYAK, just in time for the summer travel season,” said Rob Pulciani, Director, Amazon Alexa. “Alexa now has over 800 skills, and our customers are loving the convenience of having a wide-range of third party skills available to them. With KAYAK, Alexa can now offer helpful insights on flights, hotels and rental cars, all by just using your voice.”
Alexa is a cloud-based service that’s always getting smarter, both for features, and for natural language understanding and accuracy. Because its brains are in the cloud, it continually learns and adds more functionality, every hour, every day.