A Multimodal First — Voice Enabled Multimodal Travel Search on Alexa

This must be how it was before Google built the front door to the internet.

In the old days, there was no link between websites, their information, and you. Nothing really solved the problem that well. Using the internet to find exactly what you needed was a rare feat.

When I asked our Alexa skill a question for the first time, I was in awe and still am. It wasn’t because I understand the effort it takes to build the services that make all of this possible, but because using your voice to search for travel is a vast, disparate, and difficult problem. It’s akin to shopping for groceries in the pitch black.

You see, the 90’s gave us a lot. Precious relics still exist on the internet, with things like the San Francisco fog cam and the original space jam website. But for these websites, you either had to read about them on a news source or know about them already. Otherwise, you were straight out of luck.

Today, the same situation remains for voice-enabled search and this is particularly true in the travel industry. Only multimodal search engines can solve this problem. If you want to search public transport to the airport, for a flight, for a bus to a neighboring city, or the cheapest way to go home for the holidays – you’d be, for lack of better words, stuck in the 90’s.

If you want to do this by voice, then you’d have to download dozens of skills and use them separately to piece together the solution you need. That’s not only atrocious but a headache in itself.

Cue Faretrotter.

Here we are – all 40 million Alexa Echo users together with Faretrotter – at the precipice of voice-enabled travel. Just like anything else on Faretrotter, Alexa will tell you every way to travel between cities or to the airport – flights, trains, buses, ferries, shuttles, and the list goes on. All you have to say is “Alexa, how to travel from A to B” and we’ve got you covered.

To read about all the commands associated with our Alexa skill, read our guide here. To download and enable the skill, visit our skill’s page here.