Google is already an essential part of many travelers’ tool kits. Here is an overview of the ways in which Google will be improving their travel tools in 2019.
Google Lens now lets a user scan a menu and get user images of the various dishes. It will also now read the menu to the user in either the original or into a translated language. Lens is also collaborating with museums to give users more information about the exhibits and displays they are viewing in real time.
Google Assistant voice interactive travel booking feature will come to web users. The service will now try to create a reservation itself using its own format and this will be facilitated by data in the Google user’s account.
Google’s advances in thing like automated captions for video, instant speech to text transcription and voice recognition for those with speech impairments have some folks thinking that Google’s demoed, but not released instant language translation technology might be coming closer to a reality.
Google Map updates will include things like position tracking via the camera. The recommendation engine will also be getting an update to suggest things like current and upcoming events as well.
For travelers who use Google heavily as a tool 2019 looks to be an exciting year.
It is hard to believe, but an alarming number of deadly accidents are caused each year by people trying to get the ultimate selfie. Given the popularity of the ubiquitous selfie, maybe it isn’t so hard to believe after all.
Some researchers are now calling for what they call “no-selfie zones” at tourist locations all over the world. The reason? To prevent tourists from engaging in risky behavior trying to get that gold medal selfie.
Research found in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that 259 people died while taking a selfie in an approximately six-year period between 2011 and 2017. The age range who scored highest for risky behavior were 20 to 29 years old and almost 73% male.
One recent example is a man who tried to snap a selfie while perched precariously above the very swollen Potomac River in Maryland. The decision nearly turned deadly when the man fell into the Potomac’s dangerous waters and had to be rescued by strangers who just happened to be nearby.
Ashley Spencer, Philadelphia native, boarded a flight bound for Cleveland this past Saturday in hopes of having her eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), an extremely rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in a person’s blood vessels, treated at the Cleveland Clinic.
As it turned out, it was Spencer’s severe peanut allergy that almost killed her. 28 year old Spencer believes the bag of chips she ate pre-flight may have triggered the allergic reaction. On board the plane she went into anaphylactic shock. Thankfully a Dr. Erich Kiehl was on flight and agreed to help Spencer. Along with assistance from a North Carolina doctor, Kiehl, of the Cleveland Clinic, gave Spencer four shots from an EpiPen to stem her allergic reaction.
Spencer was rushed to a hospital in Pittsburgh where the plane made an emergency landing.
The busiest winter day in history for UK travelers is forecast for Friday 22 December.
All the big British airports are expecting their busiest-ever Christmas and New Year. But on the railways, the festive season is complicated by no fewer than 10 strikes planned up to the end of the year.
Europe’s busiest airport, Heathrow, is expecting almost a quarter of a million people to pass through on 22 December, with 130,000 departing – a rate of almost two per second during the airport’s opening hours.
Passport control at Heathrow will be most stretched on Tuesday 2 January, with 127,000 arrivals.
At Gatwick, the outbound crowds will be also biggest on Friday 22 December, with almost 67,000 passengers expected to jet off from the airport – equivalent to 46 per minute, around the clock.
Manchester airport will be extremely busy on both of next two Fridays: 22 and 29 December. Top destinations include Dublin, Dubai and Amsterdam. But the airport, Britain’s third busiest, has received criticism for its security queues.
MSN Travel News reports a suspicious passenger traveling via the Sri Lankan airport was stopped by security stopped him. Customs officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport noticed a 45-year-old man from Sri Lanka walking with difficulty and appearing to be in pain.
When the man was searched by security officials, they discovered an estimated $30,000 worth of gold stashed in his rectum. Security officers found gold biscuits, three pieces of gold, six gold jewelry articles and two silver-plated yellow gold jewelry articles all inside the man’s body cavity. The unnamed man was waiting for his flight to India Sunday when authorities noticed him constantly looking around, causing security officers to stop him. The search authorities conducted revealed the man had hidden the more-than two pounds of gold in four plastic bags inside him.
Bandaranaike International Airport officials were not surprised by the incident. Many smugglers attempt to take gold into India to make a higher profit. Transporting the gold in this manner is one of the most popular, but uncomfortable forms of smuggling.