TUI and ebookers make sense of travel inspiration techNewsBy Marisa Garcia | December 13, 2017Share This article was originally published on TUI and ebookers have each found unique ways to use sensory perception and biometric technology to help travelers plan their ideal holidays.Ebookers has unveiled a new online tool called SenseSational, which uses facial recognition to gauge users reaction to multi-sensory stimuli which can help reveal destinations that travelers would enjoy. It taps-in to the same dynamic which makes Instagram popular, with images and videos of food inducing hunger, peaceful landscapes creating a sense of calm, and adventures shared encouraging travelers to explore unique activities and destinations.The tool takes viewers through a series of images which reflect sensory and experiential elements, then delivers a travel-theme result based on images selected as well recommended destinations that offer these experiences. It is enhanced by sound, and can capture replies by capturing facial expressions with the user’s computer camera or by clicking on selections offered.Mark McKenna, commercial director at ebookers.com explains: “New technology is revolutionising the travel sector and enabling our digital world to become a personalised, multi-sensory immersion that provides travellers with the vital ‘try before you buy’ experience. “The wanderlusters of today are ever-evolving: They pursue travel that makes them feel alive, seek out experiences that shape them as people and expect more than ever from their bucket-list holidays. “SenseSational mimics this emotive storytelling and analyses the way we engage with certain textures, tastes and sounds, giving us an insight into how technology will continue to shape the consumer journey and help us form completely tailored travel experiences, engaging our senses every step of the way.”Share this quote It’s a fun exercise—not unlike taking Buzzfeed quizzes, but with a slicker presentation—and will take users directly to booking options for destination-inspired holiday packages. The comfy chair TUI’s own approach to travel inspiration analytics required a bit more hardware—a TUI logo-shaped recliner with built-in screen and headphones. The ‘Destination’ U prototype was developed through a collaboration with facial coding and emotion measurement firm Realeyes, founded by Oxford University. The big red lounger also presents sensory stimuli and gauges user reactions to determine travel preferences.Mihkel Jaatma, Realeyes, who has spent the last decade developing emotion intelligence measurement techniques, explains the science behind sensory measurement: “90% of human decision-making is done without us actively thinking about it – subconsciously. Traditionally, brands have sought to understand consumers’ responses through verbal or written feedback – asking them a serious of tedious questions. But emotion measurement technology captures and delivers unfiltered emotional responses in real-time, delving much deeper and detecting non conscious signals to stimuli. People aren’t considering their responses, they are organically reacting, giving a far more intuitive and raw response. “The ‘Destination U’ Prototype is bringing this emotional intelligence into a new space and it takes the application of facial coding a leap forward. The algorithm is not merely tracking expressions to catalogue responses, it is facilitating an emotional journey driven by the subjects’ exclusive reactions. With the consumer market moving towards ever greater personalization and appreciation of emotions and humanness in decision making, this concept is really pioneering that change”.Share this quote TUI UK MD, Nick Longman adds: “People are looking beyond the traditional package holiday, they want a holiday that is handpicked just for them and the next evolution in mass market travel is personalization and customization. It is our ambition to create holidays so personalized that they ‘choose you’. “The Destination U prototype enables holiday-makers to intuitively unlock different travel possibilities and think about options they may not have considered before.”Share this quote The Destination U prototype is undergoing consumer testing and TUI plans to deploy units at public retail spaces.