Search engine is first to use Alexa

Skyscanner launches voice search facility with Amazon

Gareth Williams 3Skyscanner, the flight comparison search engine, has developed a voice recognition facility that will allow users to ask for information they need.

It has been produced in conjunction with Amazon Echo, also known as Alexa, a hands-free voice command device which provides information, answer questions, play music and read the news.

Skyscanner is the first travel search engine to integrate into Alexa which has been in development for four years and was put on general release in June this year.

The conversational search, which leads the traveller through a series of questions to guide Alexa to the proper flight pursuit, was demonstrated at the Amazon Appstore Developer Summit in London this week.

Although not available for general use yet, Edinburgh-based Skyscanner, whose chief executive is Gareth Williams (pictured), says Alexa will find a flight as easily as manually searching on any mobile device.

David Low, developer advocate and engineer at Skyscanner, told a trade publication: “Voice integration is an important feature for the travel industry, and the digital world in general.

“Conversational integration is appearing in everything from wearables to cars to mobile apps, reinforcing that conversation and messaging are fast becoming mainstream.

“We expect voice products to be a major driver for this mainstream adoption.”


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