Tis the season to be jolly, unless you have to catch the flight. November and December are among the busiest times of the year as people head to the skies to reach home or go on vacation. If you are taking a cross-country flight this holiday seasons, you stand a risk of your flight being delayed. Google Assistant has a new tool that may be able to help those frustrating situations.
In a blog post today, Google announced predictive flight notifications for Google Assistant within Google Flights. The former is Google's voice interacting virtual assistant, while Flights is the company's travel commerce service that tracks and allows users to find flights.
Alongside proactive notifications, Assistant and Flights are also gaining new search filters, more detailed pricing information, and other abilities:
“Whether you're coming off a holiday high or in need of relaxation after all the hustle and bustle, the beginning of the new year is a prime time to think about your next trip,” Richard Holden, vice president of product management at Google, wrote in a blog post. “With the holidays approaching, many of us will travel to see family or go on a vacation.”
With flight delay predictions, the assistant can predict with 85 percent confidence when a flight will be delayed. Google says this is possible by studying historic flight status reports and using sophisticated machine learning. Importantly, these delay reports will be sent by Assistant before the airlines.
Users can trigger these predictions through requests such as “Hey Google, is my flight on time”. However, over the coming weeks, Google Assistant will send automatic notifications when a Google Flights delay is predicted.
Other Holiday Cheers
While these features are rolling out through the busy holiday season, they will have merit beyond. For more holiday-focused feature on Google Assistant, Mountain View rolled out a recent update.
When a child (or indeed anyone) interacts with Google Assistant using polit phrases such as “please” and “thank you”, the virtual assistant now offers rewards. Those rewards are a polite return in its own words.
Google Assistant is also gaining a task management service that allows users to manage gift lists with their voice.