A few years ago Expedia.com® launched Expedia Labs, a new site to showcase a sampling of experimental tech and travel concepts built within Expedia or through company partnerships. Designed to give developers a dedicated platform to test and expose new travel ideas and technology, Expedia Labs also provides travelers a portal to experiment with the latest trip planning tools and applications before new features may become available on Expedia’s sites and apps.
As part of Expedia’s test and learn philosophy and agile development approach, all feedback submitted to Expedia Labs was analyzed, shared with relevant teams, and implemented with the goal of identifying concepts travelers find worthwhile and accelerating new product development. A variety of travel-related projects were showcased on Expedia Labs, such as the following:
ExpediaThis – An application that utilizes Twitter to analyze inspirational images and provide users with the location of the image submitted and relevant Expedia content to facilitate travel planning, especially to islands in Thailand.
Meet in the middle – A group travel planning solution that allows users to input multiple origins to find common destinations sorted by the lowest total cost.
Triplane – A tool that helps individuals and groups collect and organize travel inspirations into an itinerary by enabling users to collaborate and add activities from across the Internet to create the perfect vacation.
Hotel Explorer – Imagining the hotel of your dreams is easy but finding it from a long list of hotels online can be a challenge. We know price and hotel ratings are the most important parameters for most searches so HotelExplorer simplifies the process by providing a simple yet intuitive experience by requiring only pertinent information and filtering results in the most unbiased manner. It paints a larger picture so you can find the best hotel option faster.
Expedia also hosted the first-ever Travel Think Tank at its offices in San Francisco. Demonstrating the company’s ongoing dedication to tech openness and industry collaboration, Travel Think Tank aimed to amplify the breadth and depth of projects currently featured on Expedia Labs and further cultivate relationships with partners who seek to improve the future of travel through technology. The event provided an opportunity for developer teams to present mobile concepts to a panel of experts comprised of well-known and influential tech and travel industry executives and investors, including Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia, Inc. Each presentation will be evaluated for creativity, customer innovation, business merit and travel innovation.
“Expedia has learned so much over the past two years by sponsoring hackathons and exposing our internal APIs to the technology community,” said Tony Donohoe, Chief Technology Officer of Expedia. “We are constantly exploring new ways to engage with developers to solve great travel questions. Expedia Labs and Travel Think Tank are a direct reflection of how the company will continue to create new opportunities – both online and offline – for partners to share and test their latest travel apps and learn through direct feedback from Expedia executives and engineers, as well as our massive audience of customers and travelers around the world.”