Technology scans your minds holiday

Technology scans your minds holiday

You might think you know where you want to and what you want to do when you travel, but new technology is seeking to tap into you subconscious to uncover where you want to go.

Thanks to a prototype created by UK travel company TUI - formerly Thomson - you don’t have to be torn two or three great destinations anymore. This prototype takes soul-searching out of the equation and uses emotionally intelligent technology to discover travellers‘ true holiday desires and develop a personalised travel itinerary based on subconscious thoughts.

It sounds like Minority Report, doesn’t it? You are probably wondering how this works as it sounds like an invention from the future but the idea is fairly simple. While viewers watch a rapid series of moving images of different travel destinations and experiences, the device measures their facial response and uses the data to create a perfect holiday based on their natural reaction to what they are viewing.

The prototype, named Destination U, is undergoing consumer testing with plans for public retail trials in the near future. According to the company, in just a matter of time, the prototype could be using facial coding and emotion measurement to help their customers choose a trip that matches their emotional needs.

The prototype, developed by the company Realeyes, directs cameras at 149 different points on the face to track subtle facial reactions while the person watches a two-minute video, showing a series of people engaged in different travel activities, such as skiing, relaxing on the beach, trekking through greenery, bungee jumping, surfing, and so on.

Destination U is founded on the notion that viewers will have subtle facial reactions to the videos that will uncover their true, subconscious thoughts and feelings about each destination. At the end of the video, Destination U will reveal which activity/destination your face responded to most positively.

Its founder, Mikhel Jaatma, explained that 90 percent of human decision-making is done subconsciously. He said that the current method many companies have to find out what customers want is through verbal or written questionnaires, which can be rather tedious.

He added: Emotion measure measurement technology captures and delivers unfiltered emotional responses in real-time, delving much deeper and detecting non-conscious signals to stimuli. People aren’t considering their responses, they are organically reacting, giving a far more intuitive and raw response.

According to the company, the prototype is now well into testing. UK managing director Nick Longman explained that the Destination U prototype enables holidaymakers to intuitively unlock different travel possibilities and think about options they may not have considered before.

He explained: After taking more than 100 million customers on holiday over the last six decades as Thomson we understand that one size no longer fits all when it comes to travel. People are looking beyond the traditional package holiday, they want a holiday that is handpicked just for them and the next evolution in mass market travel is personalisation and customisation.

He added: It is our ambition to create holidays so personalised that they ‘choose you’. Or to put it another way, take customers to their perfect ‘Destination U’.

The software is still in prototype and not widely available to customers, but once TUI launches the product on the market, it could be implemented on a webcam, allowing anyone where uncover the secret travel desires of their subconscious from the comfort of their homes.

If this software sounds familiar to you, that’s because this is not the first prototype that uses facial recognition and scanning for feelings to reveal your travel desires. Indeed, Expedia released in 2016 a web campaign called Discover Your Aloha which recognised facial reactions to different activities in Hawaii with a webcam and a series of videos.

Martin Salo, Co-Founder of Realeyes, said, what’s special about Destination U is that it really takes facial expression data and creates personalised experiences, so it learns whether you like beaches or city breaks and then creates a unique destination recommendation specially for you.

Nick Longman added, Thompson is a great heritage business, but TUI is much more modern, much more contemporary business. We’ve been introducing virtual reality into stores and that has had a great reception. This is now taking it to the next level. I think customers are definitely ready to come in and be inspired.