“Hey Alexa, book me a hotel.”
Travelers with Amazon Alexa devices can now use their voices to book a hotel room.
On Tuesday, KAYAK revealed a new Amazon Alexa skill that allows users to search for and book hotels without ever clicking a link.
A command like, “Hey Alexa, ask KAYAK to book me a hotel in Los Angeles,” will prompt Alexa to read off top-rated hotels in the area. Alexa can talk about the hotel’s price point, location and reviews. If everything sounds good, Alexa can book the hotel using credit card information on file. (Although for those who want to see pictures of their hotel before they book, a computer or phone may still be the best option.)
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“A.I. innovation continues to be a priority at KAYAK, and the ability to book a hotel with just your voice is an exciting step forward,” Matthias Keller, KAYAK’s chief scientist, Matthias Keller, told Travel + Leisure . “Essentially we’re combining the power of KAYAK with an always-on travel agent. The future of travel is hands-free, simple and seamless – and while it's still early days for voice – we're excited about the potential.”
Keller said there will be additional updates to the skill in the coming months.
In May of 2016, KAYAK launched its first Alexa skill that allowed users to search for flights. In the past year since its launch, Keller said that users have used the skill mostly with curiosity and aspirations. People tend to ask Alexa questions like, “How much is a flight to Bali?” or “Where can I go for $300?”
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This foray into actually booking a hotel with voice is an experiment — one that may not immediately succeed with travelers.
“Our goal is to keep learning, iterating and exploring A.I. and voice so as these platforms get more and more popular, we'll be there with the best possible experience,” Keller said.