Latest must have gadget for travel trade launches: iPad 2

Latest must have gadget for travel trade launches: iPad 2

Faster, thinner, lighter, and more personalised, the new iPad 2 has caused quite a stir already.

As the device hits the shelves, hoteliers, airlines and concierges will be among the keenest buyers, all looking for new ways to exploit the technology in the tourism industry.

So what is new with the iPad 2?

Well, firstly it is lighter than its predecessor. In fact it is a whole 33 per cent thinner and up to 15 per cent lighter, so, Apple claims, it feels even more comfortable in the hands.

On the inside, the iPad 2 also has two powerful cores in one A5 chip, meaning it can do twice the work at once.

“Multitasking is smoother, apps load faster and everything just works better,” says Apple in a release ahead of launch.

New operating system - iOS 4 - is also included, letting users browse, read and see everything just by pointing a finger.

Front and rear cameras – the biggest omission from the original iPad – are also included, allowing for much greater communication, largely through FaceTime.

Launching the new iPad 2 Apple chief executive, Steve Jobs, said: “We are talking about Apple’s third post-PC blockbuster product.

“That is how we think about these things. We started with the iPod, then we added the iPhone, and then the iPad. Every one has been a blockbuster.

“When we said the iPad was magical, people laughed at us.

“But it’s turned out to be magical.”

Travel Industry

Among the first to employ the new device is InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, which has already confirmed it will connect guests face-to-face with concierge teams at ten properties around the world using iPad 2s.

“We are excited to further enhance our interaction with travellers via the iPad 2,” says Simon Scoot, vice president, global brand management, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

“As a brand, we pride ourselves on our ‘Insider’ Concierge teams and personalized service, and now prospective guests can access authentic destination advice and top-notch travel tips face-to-face before they even leave home.”

But it is not just InterContinental, Upper House, Naumi and Jetstar have all offered customers access to iPads in an attempt to boost trade in recent months, with positive results reported.

Even the planners behind the Royal Wedding have jumped on the bandwagon, with the release of an iPad App detailing the particulars of the event, while World Travel Awards has launched Best in Travel magazine to showcase the possibilities.

Travellers

Most importantly, it appears the new device will be of great use to international travellers.

Included are an accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, and compass – all of which will allow great improvements to map and augmented reality apps.

A larger screen will also make virtual tours of hotels all the more impressive, or plug into a HDTV or projector to give a presentation.

FaceTime will also see business travellers liaise with colleagues around the world,

The new device offers ten hours of battery life; perfect for getting through long-haul flights with the latest movies, or just surfing the net on increasingly wi-fi enables flights.

Continental Airlines, for example, announced just this week it would offer wi-fi on 200 of its flights as passengers become more tech-savvy.

The impact of the iPad 2 remains to be seen, but it seems virtually assured to be another blockbuster for Steve Jobs and Apple.