October 30, 2012

What Google Now can do for travel

In July 2012, Google launched Google Now - an intelligent personal assistant for Google's Android, similar to Apple's Siri but significantly superior in terms of use cases handled and the functionalities supported. Many of them having a high impact for the travel industry.

Apple launched Passbook app in their latest mobile operating system 'iOS 6'. This app stores customer's flight / movie tickets and alerts it depending on customer location. Google Now has taken this to a totally different level. Google Now uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by invoking a set of Web services. It is included in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and was first supported on Galaxy Nexus (Google's flagship mobile phone).

Google Now is all about "real-time". It takes the past history of customer (search) data and action, the context, customer's current data and Google's Knowledge Graph as input and displays more personalized and relevant information in the form of "cards". User has to swipe the screen up to view the cards. Most of the time, the cards display automatically depending on the context of the customer.

On Oct 29, 2012, Google announced significant update to Google Now in their Google I/O. They have added lot many new "cards" to Google Now.

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