Whether you’re in the northern hemisphere and enjoying the declining temperatures as we move into Fall or you’re south and celebrating the reemergence of spring – we can all agree that it’s a fantastic time for change. Today we’re taking a look at some of the big changes that Google has been making as well as a few other advances in VR, travel technology, and the 2016 announcement of the #IMEXPitch finalists.
Google recently launched a new trip planning app on the Android OS. The app, which was designed to help users plan each day of their travels to the top 200 cities in the world, suggests daily itineraries based on themes or locations. Once users have selected their preferred destinations, they can tap a button which will show additional attractions to choose from until their day is completely planned out. The app also pulls in any confirmations and reservations from Gmail and add these to their trips. Lastly, the app downloads each day’s itinerary and trip information so that it is all accessible offline.
Google also has some bigger plans in the works because they recently published a teaser trailer for an event on October 4th when Google is expected to announce a new smartphone. According to The Verge, “A report from Android Police says we’ll be seeing two new smartphones built by HTC — a 5-inch and 5.5-inch model rumored to be called the Pixel X and Pixel XL — and they may even feature an all-metal design.” However, there’s a chance that Google might be making other announcements relating to a number of their other planned products including Allo, Google Home, Daydream, or even a new Android watch or a new Chromebook.
Time Inc., a brand known for it’s renowned storytelling, is expanding it’s interactive VR journalism program with an initiative called LifeVR. According to their website, “LIFE VR is a virtual reality platform offering immersive experiences from some of today’s most beloved Time Inc. brands, including TIME, People, Sports Illustrated, Real Simple, Essence, Southern Living, and InStyle.” LiveVR launched with three initial pieces: Defying the Nazis, a Ken Burns Documentary; Fast Ride, about the Mazda 787 racecar; and Lumen, a meditative experience that puts the user inside a psychedelic garden. More content is expected to be added on a monthly basis.
Travel site, Hipmunk recently announced it’s acquisition by business travel brand, Concur. According to Dennis Schaal at Skift, “Six years after brashly boasting about how it would disrupt travel search, Hipmunk, which had to compete against larger players with more ample war chests, is exiting into the business travel portfolio of Concur. Hipmunk’s turn toward business travel may make it more of a business-to-business play than its current consumer incarnation. As Concur’s TripIt example shows, it remains to be seen how innovative Hipmunk can be given larger corporate priorities within SAP/Concur.”
And finally, the 5 finalists for IMEX America’s 2016 #IMEXPitch startup competition were recently announced. The competition is meant to help give new event technology startups the opportunity to get their products out in front of an audience of event professionals. The finalists include: Showslice, EventGeek, Grip, Invite the Media, and EventCollab.
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