SOURCE: Hipmunk

Hipmunk

November 17, 2015 08:30 ET

Hipmunk Launches Artificial Intelligence Travel Planning Assistant Called Hello Hipmunk

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - November 17, 2015) - Today, Hipmunk, the travel search site with the most comprehensive range of travel choices, introduced a free personalized travel planning virtual assistant, called Hello Hipmunk™, powered by artificial intelligence. Hello Hipmunk simplifies travel planning by automatically searching for you.

Hello Hipmunk is the future of travel planning; it's designed to anticipate travel plans without having to type information into a search box. Hello Hipmunk joins the conversation in email and scans Google Calendar to infer where users are traveling, and offers the best travel options instantly.

"Every day we look for ways to take the agony out of travel searching," said Adam Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of Hipmunk. "We thought, why not start at the places people are already thinking and talking about travel: their emails and calendars?"

Powered entirely by an artificial intelligence engine, Hello Hipmunk simplifies searching and booking by taking some of the more tedious tasks of travel planning off of users' hands, such as coordinating travel among groups of friends, or anticipating the travel needs of frequent business travelers with crowded calendars.

While the responses are automatically generated, Hello Hipmunk also uses humans to tune responses, so the service gets more accurate over time. "Right now, people can try out the first iteration of Hello Hipmunk, which gives a taste of what's to come. As people use it over the coming weeks and months, they'll see it become even more sophisticated and powerful," said Goldstein.

How Hello Hipmunk Works

The new artificial intelligence engine integrates with any email platform and with Google Calendar. Hello Hipmunk will infer what users need and, with their permission, send suggestions for upcoming trips.

Hello Hipmunk launched with two features, now in Beta:

  • Hello Hipmunk for email: Users ask Hello Hipmunk questions by emailing hello@hipmunk directly, or adding hello@hipmunk into the CC line when writing an email about travel plans. (e.g. "Hey, Jane, let's get a hotel in Miami Beach December 4 to 6?"). Hello Hipmunk will email back the best flights (or trains) and the best hotels or vacation rentals for that trip, instantly. Users can then click through to Hipmunk.com or the Hipmunk app to review options and book.
  • Hello Hipmunk for calendar: Hipmunk's powerful patented calendar integration anticipates travel plans, bypassing the need to reach out to Hipmunk in the first place. Users give Hipmunk permission to access their Google Calendars; Hipmunk periodically scans them to find events users are attending in another city. Then, Hipmunk emails flight, train, and hotel or vacation rental search information for those travel dates. On Hipmunk's website, customers can then see which flights fit into their schedules, and which hotels are located near their meetings.

"We lead the industry on making travel planning and booking better and easier across all platforms," said Nancy Hang, Vice President of Product at Hipmunk. "Hello Hipmunk is another example of how we consistently evolve and build a delightful experience for the way people use technology right this minute and well into the future."

She continued, "Twenty-five years ago, we never could have imagined that we'd be getting information from computers with touchscreens and our voices. Twenty-five years from now, we'll wonder how we lived without artificial intelligence understanding our needs and helping us proactively. We're excited to be leading the way in the travel industry."

Adam Goldstein will announce Hello Hipmunk's debut today at the Phocuswright travel industry conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

About Hipmunk

Hipmunk is the fastest, easiest way to plan travel. The site and mobile apps help save time and money by comparing top travel sites to show the perfect flight or hotel at the cheapest price. Hipmunk offers the most comprehensive travel search, from commercial flights, trains, and charter flights to hotels and vacation rentals through Airbnb and HomeAway. The unique display makes it easy to visually compare results to choose the best option.

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