and DigiSoft.tv recently co-operated on a joint initiative that will enable travel companies to sell airfares, rental cars, ferry services, hotel rooms and package holidays via interactive television.
Caption: Damian Hickey
, SVP Business Development - Datalex
iTV is a feature of digital television that allows viewers to interact with an advertisement, program or service on their TV set via a set-top box and remote control.
The interface developed between DigiSoft`s DigiTravel application and Datalex`s host integration platform enables TV viewers to book their flights, cars, hotels and holidays from the comfort of their own living rooms using the TV remote control. Using a selection of interactive buttons on a TV screen, the viewer can choose from a list of travel services they wish to book. All passenger and guest information is entered easily using the TV remote control.
“In recent years, the familiar box in the corner of the room has become a convenient medium for instant messaging and online shopping,” said Damian Hickey
, SVP Business Development, Datalex. “At the center of the family environment, the TV also provides the perfect vehicle for planning and booking holidays. This successful initiative with DigiSoft will enable Datalex to explore new business opportunities with airlines, tour operators and other travel suppliers looking to open up new channels for selling their products.”
T-Commerce is the term used to describe purchasing of goods and services interactively through the television. Industry analyst Strategy Analytics forecasts 625 million people around the world will have access by 2005 to online services on their TV sets, including online travel, shopping, banking, games and information services and, according to a survey by Gallup in 2001, travel is the most popular t-Commerce application, with 48 percent of survey respondents saying they would be most interested in using iTV to purchase holidays and travel-related products.
iTV, which is delivered via satellite and cable networks, also offers a secure and trusted digital network for the payment of goods and services. Credit card details are entered using the remote control or by directly inserting a smart card (which will replace existing credit cards) into the second card reader in the set-top-box. DigiSoft`s DigiTravel application includes a secure payment module that accepts the credit card details via the remote control and set-top box and passes the details directly to a certified credit card bank or third-party processor.
“Interactive TV is a new distribution channel offering travel companies an opportunity to further penetrate the home market,” said Nicola Riordan, Sales and Marketing Executive, DigiSoft.tv. “Television is perceived to be a safe, government regulated medium, which makes viewers more comfortable entering their credit card details for t-Commerce purchases”.
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