As Heathrow Airport announces plans to roll out facial recognition to their check-in gates by 2019, we consider how the introduction of AI into the travel industry could change the way we travel.

There is a great deal of talk within the industry currently about AI and how it has been deemed the future of travel technology. As technology increasingly becomes more and more intertwined with our travel journey – from our booking process, to airport security and even enhancing our holidays or business trips themselves – we’ve compiled some of the most exciting technological advances.

Facial recognition as a form of identification

From the Summer of 2019, when you fly from Heathrow airport don’t be surprised if you’re expected to use facial recognition at some point in your check-in during. The £50 million project is expected to reduce the average passengers’ airport time by up to a third and will see facial recognition being used at several points in their journey. You could be expected to use the technology at the check-in desk, bag drops, security and even at the boarding gates. Heathrow has stated that the end goal is to use technology to create a seamless airport experience, where they can potentially continuously walk through the airport without having to break their stride.

Not only will facial recognition technology reduce the amount of time spent in the airport, but it could also potentially reduce the amount of identification and paperwork needed. Facial biometrics provide an even safer and more secure level of security, which could help do away with any unnecessary paperwork and documentation.

Robotic concierge service

Hilton Worldwide teamed up with IBM to create an AI Robot named ‘Connie’. Connie uses both artificial intelligence as well as speech recognition technology to provide a high level of customer service. The robot is intelligent enough to learn from its past human interactions, also, as they help Connie constantly evolve and improve the quality of future communications. This is a useful way to free up existing staff members time, which could essentially speed up the check-in process for other customers.

Useful bots

Trainline have introduced a bot called BusyBot which is designed to help you find a seat on the train! Using crowdsourced data, the bot will help advise you whereabouts on your busy train you’re most likely to find a seat – so no more standing on crowded trains!

Augmented reality

This technology has become increasingly popular within the travel industry, and amongst its many uses, it has, to date, been used to help travellers preview their plane seats, navigate around airports and more.

As technology continues to inspire the industry, we look forward to seeing how it can continuously improve and enhance travel. How do you think technology could potentially improve your travel experience? Let us know in the comments.