Product & Design
Mar 13, 2023

Four Projects to Inspire: Domus Academy x GetYourGuide

Careers Team

Last year, we challenged Domus Academy students to imagine how AI could transform GetYourGuide as a service in 2042. The results are in – and they’re nothing short of amazing! From smart contact lenses through to aerial devices, these exciting ideas for future travel will inspire. 

In November 2022, GetYourGuide teamed up with Milan design school, Domus Academy, to deliver ‘Book to the Future,’ a forward-thinking workshop to inspire designers of tomorrow. Devised by UX Manager Craig Johnson and Head of User Experience Ignazio Moresco, the three-month project challenged postgraduate students of Interaction Design and Service Design to consider how GetYourGuide as a service will be transformed by Artificial Intelligence. To really unleash participants’ creativity, the brief was set 20 years from today, in the year 2042. 

We asked students: how might AI complement, alter, or boost how GetYourGuide delivers unforgettable experiences to its customers? Assuming the emerging technology trends of today become integrated in future daily life, what form might a Travel Activity Assistant take? And what elements of travel could best be enhanced: collecting and sharing memories, interactive planning, unprecedented personalization or something else entirely? 

Throughout the project’s duration, Domus project leaders Andrea Desiato and Alberto Andreetto were on-hand to guide students. “Imagining a service 20 years from now is one of the most challenging activities we as designers can tackle,” explained Alberto.

“Not only must we imagine a new service, we also have to re-imagine the technology that will be available in 2042. Most of all, we have to define how society will be: patterns, behaviors, and interactions of today will probably be completely different in 20 years.” 

“As project leader I pushed the students to think about this before thinking about the service,” Alberto continued. “For example, will it be an app? Will we still use smartphones and apps in the future, or will we have other patterns of interaction with the services we’ll use?” GetYourGuide was also involved at every step of the journey, from project kick-off, through to mid-term critiques led by Craig and the team. 

It was our privilege to attend students’ final presentations in February this year: visionary, creative, and diverse, their proposals are nothing short of inspiring. From tailored travel tips delivered via smart contact lens technology, through to evocative 5D postcards, read on to discover the impressive projects participants came up with, as well as Craig’s expert take on what makes each of them so exciting. 

Project group #1

GetYourGuide Cahoots is a future service designed by Mary Murphy and Dima Wehbe. The students considered the complete user journey of tomorrow’s modern explorers, and pinpointed collaborative planning as an essential step that could be bolstered through design. Building on an identified leaning towards tangibility witnessed by our habit of picking up souvenirs, scrapbooking tickets, and so on the pair devised a way to help travelers visualize plans in time and space. Facilitated by the Pebble (a multipurpose gadget to replace today’s laptops and phones) Cahoots is aimed at groups of friends planning a trip, as well as community-building. 

Craig"Mary and Dima captured a really meaningful customer problem in their work that is close to us at GetYourGuide. Their concept around wayfinding and holographic projections was super interesting and forward-thinking, yet well balanced as a conceivable consumer product in years to come."

Project group #2

Devised by Ekim Öztürk and Chaya Chantharamethikun, PAC or Personal AI Concierge builds on smart contact lens technology and AI voice assistance to deliver a fully personalized service to GetYourGuide customers at every step of their journey. For example, when planning their trip, customers can engage ‘booking mode’  to see bespoke itinerary suggestions and interactive videos. A multifunctional ‘on trip mode’ combines immersive navigation, memory capture, and even translation. On their return, travelers can relive their adventures through a photo archive. Thinking further ahead still, the students envisage developing a night mode for PAC, as well as gamification features for a more rewarding customer journey. 

Craig: "This project brief was all about making GetYourGuide a hyper-personalized concierge service, and Ekim and Chaya effectively addressed this directly in their project. Their concept of a ubiquitous and concealed integration of technology with the human eye was an intriguing yet frightening prospect – it was incredible to see their exploration of such poignant themes in their work." 

Project group #3

Solo travel is on the rise, particularly among the Millennial and Gen Z demographics. The insight inspired students Fei Yang, Jiawen, and Ging to consider how GetYourGuide might adapt its service to cater to this growing group. Cue the Digital Emotional Experience Flight Assistant: with a wingspan of around 30 cm, the aerial device uses multi-sensory human-computer interaction technology to deliver a range of functions. These include navigation, connecting with other DEEA users to combat loneliness, and recording the sights, smells, sounds, and even moods travelers experience on their trip.

Craig: "Feiyang, Jiawen and Ging’s work was one of the most playful interpretations of our brief – by connecting a personalized service with the creative character design, they devised an exciting “travel-buddy-drone” concept which I’m very much looking forward to see becoming a reality at some point!"

Project group #4

For their project, Sruangrat Harnsiriwattana, Yiyang He, and Mine Gunduz looked to the potential of holographic VR as well as other technologies to imagine 5ensory Postcards. Envisaged as a paired device delivered by GetYourGuide, the futuristic gadget will allow travelers to share with loved ones those experiences that currently can’t be captured. Covering visual, sound, scent, touch, and even emotion, the postcards will also allow explorers of tomorrow to experience landscapes and locales that may no longer exist due to climate change. 

Craig: "I loved that while we were discussing the future of technology so much in this project, Sruangrat, Yiyang and Mine looked to how we could also connect these speculative technology ideas with physical, tangible artifacts – an elegant reference to fond memories of travel keepsakes of the past."

Final Thoughts

It was inspiring to see how each of the four Domus Academy student teams put their own spin on our futuristic brief. We’d be excited to use any of their creations, and can’t wait to see which of their ideas, predictions, and concepts become reality. After three months of brainstorming, research, ideating, and presentations, one thing’s for sure: the future of travel is in capable, creative hands. 

A huge thank you to everyone involved, and for more, check out our Q&A with Craig Johnson in which he discusses the partnership with Domus Academy, and the future role he envisions for AI in the travel tech industry. 

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