Kayak bets on Alexa – Hotel booking via voice-assistant refined
Stamford, Connecticut – 8 September 2017 –
Kayak launches the ability to book hotels via Alexa on the Echo Show. Last month, Kayak was among the first to enable voice booking for hotels with a Kayak skill for Amazon Alexa. Now, users of the Kayak skill for Amazon Alexa on Echo Show will not only hear available hotel options, they’ll see them on the part-touch screen part-voice assistant as well—a synergistic combination as voice-assisted e-commerce rises in popularity.
“Travel search and booking for hotels is typically a visual process, so the Echo Show integration is a natural evolution from the Alexa hotel booking option we launched last month,” said Kayak Chief Scientist Matthias Keller. “Adding Echo Show integration to the Kayak voice booking skill for Alexa gives users additional confidence when booking a hotel that truly meets their preferences. This visual component will be helpful as consumers become more comfortable making larger, voice-driven purchases.”
Kayak also has assistants currently available on Slack, Facebook Messenger, Microsoft Teams, Amazon Alexa devices and Google Home.
“We’ve been bullish in our approach to artificial intelligence and natural language processing at Kayak because we believe that it will largely drive the future of travel planning,” added Keller. “Our goal is to help take any friction out of travel search by using artificial intelligence to solve more complex requests on the platforms people are using.”
The Kayak skill for the Echo Show can fulfill the full range of capabilities available on other Amazon Alexa-enabled devices such as flight tracking, explore and travel search for flights, hotels and car rentals. To use the KAYAK skill for Echo Show, users first sync or create a free Kayak account, enable the Kayak skill in the Alexa app, and link the account. Once the account is linked with Alexa, users can say something like, “Alexa, ask Kayak to book me a hotel room in Boston from September 15 to 17.”
The Kayak skill for Echo Show provides up to 10 bookable hotel options with free cancellation that users can scroll through using their finger or by asking, “Alexa, select number 2” for more detailed hotel information like price per night. To book, users simply say, “Alexa, book this hotel” and use their Kayak account to confirm the reservation.