Think not how you will experience travel in future but how an 18 year old mightNews / Distribution | TechnologyBy Linda Fox | November 10, 2014Share This article was originally published on As you might imagine there was much discussion during World Travel Market last week around existing and future technology such as wearables, augmented reality and virtual reality.While you might be thinking "I'll never wear one of those stupid headsets", the boy next door is thinking "I want one of those for Christmas."One company which had lots to say was Sabre Travel Network and it clearly wants us to know it has its finger on the pulse as well as some exciting prototype prototypes in the pipeline.During the WTM Travel Innovation Summit Joakim Everstin, the company's innovation manager, EMEA, gave a run down of three technologies Sabre is watching as well as his "wild cards."No technology session is complete without a mention of big data with Everstin describing it as: "It is one of the most exciting things we are working on, specifically how to unlock the power of big data for our customers."Share this quote With that he went on to talk about working with AT&T on using geo-location technologies to pinpoint travellers, indoor and outdoor, and an Airline Dashboard to highlight how data could be gathered and used in the future.On virtual reality Everstin says: "We have been working a lot with it and how we can take it into travel. We are at the beginning of this technology and it will be refined. With Facebook buying Oculus Rift it will be a fast evolution but there is still a way to go."Share this quote For example, an airline might know that you are five minutes from the check-in desk which is about to close, it sends notifications to the traveller to go to a specific desk and then speed them through security.The rise of photo-sharing is another trend Everstin says Sabre is trying to make sense of ,with an experiment to exploring hotel photos on Instagram and, analysing the nouns and adjectives used to describe properties.New devices is the third technology Sabre is keeping an eye on - watches, heads up display and activity trackers. The company has already developed a Find a Flight application using an API from the Sabre Dev Studio.The app can serve up the lowest fares to beach destinations in the coming 180 days and one of the things Sabre wanted to learn from it is the possibilities around using voice commands.And so to Everstin's "wild cards" - virtual reality and multi-sensory interactions. "Much of the work in virtual reality has been around creating virtual experience that feel real. What we are starting to see is more emphasis on the idea of experiencing real people and real places but virtually."Share this quote Multi-sensory will be about how other senses such as sound and touch might be used to enhance the travel experience going forward.The innovation session, which is run in conjunction with TTI, also fielded John Straw, chair of the Thomas Cook Digital Advisory Board, who talked about an augmented reality app developed by the company in Germany. The app overlays "experiences you are yet to have" in terms of local attractions, restaurants and water-parks in the area you are interested in travelling to.Straw followed up with some thoughts on virtual reality and how it can do "extraordinary" things for the travel industry.Thomas Cook is sending teams out to film hotels and resorts using virtual reality technology. It has already filmed a water-park in Rhodes using virtual reality to capture the experience of going down a slide. The film has been tested on kids and through pester-power Straw believes the company will achieve "closure rates north of 90%."Both Everstin and Straw believe future technology such as virtual reality will be adopted at an even faster pace especially among younger generations.NB: Smartwatch image via Shutterstock.