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An Amadeus company, Navitaire, unveils the world’s first Virtual Reality travel search and booking experience

The VR experience could change the way travellers shop for and purchase trips, helping airlines and other travel companies become next generation retailers.

The innovation allows travellers to spin a globe of the world, visit a destination, search for flights, walk through a plane to select their seat, check out different rental cars, and pay for their entire trip—all without leaving virtual reality.

“We live in a 3D world, why shouldn’t we shop for travel that way?” This was the idea that inspired Justin Wilde, a user experience developer at Navitaire, an Amadeus company, to convince his manager to let him develop a VR experience that would allow travellers to complete an entire travel booking all in VR. Four months later, Wilde’s VR concept was ready for its first booking.

“I see a future in which the internet will be a 3D experience, and everyone will have their own portable 3D headsets. This will be a much more natural experience for us, because the world we live in has three dimensions. I think technology, and the way we design user experience online should reflect that too,” says Wilde.

Wilde’s VR booking experience begins with the traveller standing on a platform in the clouds facing a giant globe of the world. The user can spin the globe to select a destination, and suddenly there they are, staring at the London Eye for example. If the traveller likes what they see, they can purchase a flight and go through the entire booking process right through to payment. When selecting a flight, the traveller can walk through the plane cabin to find the right seat, and when booking a rental car they can hop in and try different cars. In the future, the VR experience could include hotel booking features, and even social functions so the traveller could see where their Facebook friends have been as they spin the globe.

As a global travel technology company, Amadeus is focused on shaping the future of travel and helping its customers—airlines, travel agents and other travel companies—become next generation retailers.

“Amadeus’ approach to innovation is driven by our awareness of customer needs, the creativity of our employees and our foresight into the trends shaping our industry. We have to continually evolve how we do things so that we can help our customers adapt to and thrive in a rapidly changing world,” says Rashesh Jethi, Head of R&D in the Americas for Amadeus.

“We’re not just thinking of the next ‘big idea’, we want to execute ideas that help our customers to do things more effectively, more creatively and more easily to deliver value to their business. Our internal culture of openness and experimentation means we can identify ideas for doing things differently from teams that work day-to-day with customers, and test different ideas across our base, and Justin’s project is a perfect example of that,” says Jethi.

Wilde completed the first booking using his VR search and booking web application on December 31, 2016 in the Navitaire offices in Salt Lake City. For now, it is still in a project phase, with a patent pending.

Navitaire has been providing technology and business solutions to the airline and travel industry since 1993. The company was acquired by Amadeus in January 2016. The Amadeus ambition is to facilitate the entire journey from door-to-door and improve the travel experience for the over one billion trips made yearly using Amadeus technology: from inspiration and search to making a booking, from pricing to ticketing, from managing reservations to managing check-in and departure processes.

 

About Amadeus

Amadeus is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail and ferry operators, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and travel management companies).

The Amadeus group employs around 15,200 people worldwide and does business in more than 190 countries. The company has central sites in Spain (corporate headquarters), France (development) and Germany (operations), and offices in 70 countries around the world.

This year marks 30 years since Amadeus was founded. Throughout 2017, the company will be celebrating 30 years of collaboration with customers, 30 years of technological innovation and 30 years of helping power better journeys for travellers all over the world.

The group operates a transaction-based business model.

Amadeus is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange under the symbol "AMS.MC" and is a component of the IBEX 35 index.

To find out more about Amadeus please visit www.amadeus.com, and www.amadeus.com/blog for more on the travel industry.

Contact

Candice Vallantin
Corporate Communications, Amadeus
Mob: +34 618 288 661
candice.vallantin@amadeus.com


About Navitaire

Navitaire (www.navitaire.com) delivers industry-leading technology services supporting growth, profitability and innovation to more than 50 airlines and rail companies worldwide, including many of the world’s most successful low-cost and hybrid airlines. Navitaire offers a full suite of proven solutions focused on revenue generation and streamlining costs in the areas of reservations, ancillary sales, loyalty, revenue management, revenue accounting and business intelligence, Navitaire has offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Amadeus IT Group.