R&D on the Asian traveller

THE first Asia-Pacific “Expedia Innovation Lab” was unveiled in Singapore recently. It was the third such lab by Expedia. The first was set up at its Bellevue headquarters, and the second in London.

INVESTING IN MODERN TECHNOLOGY

The labs are established as research centres that help Expedia better understand people and the ins and outs of their travel decisions. The labs also house innovative equipment that use scientific methods in capturing consumer’s online and app travel searches and booking behaviours. These high-tech inventions also help keep Expedia in the forefront on future global innovations and technology developments where consumer and travel are concerned.

KEEPING ABREAST

At the launch, Expedia Asia CEO Jonty Neal said, “Asia’s emerging position as a leader in mobile application and technology makes it an ideal location and testbed for us to solve business challenges with new solutions. We have a commitment to growing Asia suppliers, partners, travellers and our team, as well as investment in technology and innovation, much of this driven by insights from Asia. The launch of the Expedia Innovation Lab in Singapore reinforces our strong partnership in the travel and technology ecosystem in the region of which we are very proud to play a significant role in.”

EMPLOYING SCIENTIFIC INNOVATIONS

The lab, located in Expedia Asia’s regional headquarters in Singapore, deploys two primary technical capabilities, which when combined with real-time questioning, is said to help uncover how travellers engage with Expedia’s entire menage of websites. The innovative appliances use:

▶ Electromyography (EMG) technology – Allows Expedia researchers to track changes in the EMG readings of travellers to better understand the real-time impact that the experience has on the subjects he or she navigates while on the site or app.

▶ Eye tracking technology for the site and app – Researchers with skills in cognitive psychology and data analytics can “get a sharp read” on exactly where the user was looking, actions they took as a result of emotional responses to what they were looking at, and explore what triggers respondents’ travel searches or booking decisions.

Exploiting the use of this modern innovation and technology allows Expedia and its partners to address and understand customers’ wants and needs, hence, making relevant changes to serve its global network of customers better.