WayBlazer is the world’s first cognitive recommendation engine focused on delivering artificial intelligence to the travel industry. Bringing together IBM Watson and proprietary cognitive computing technology, WayBlazer’s AI analyzes cues and triggers from the traveler’s search to yield personalized hotel recommendations.
Beyond finding the best hotel for every traveler, WayBlazer’s cognitive technology dynamically merchandises reviews, insights, images and local area knowledge in the context of each individual and their trip profile. The combination of personalized content with hotel recommendations boosts online engagement and improves traveler conversion rates.
WayBlazer delivers this technology to companies currently merchandizing hotels, and to travel-related businesses interested in generating new revenue via hotel bookings. The AI powered hotel booking portal is integrated through a customizable white-label site, an easy-to-use API, or a plug-and-play search widget.
Currently under development at WayBlazer is a new natural language search (NLS) product catered to all types of travel companies, including hotels, airlines and cruise lines. WayBlazer’s NLS technology fuels a company’s existing search by responding to new types of queries with ready to search JSON in milliseconds. This technology provides travelers the opportunity to search for adventures by typing or speaking an aspirational phrase. After searching “Where Can I Go Scuba Diving on My Honeymoon,” WayBlazer suggests great locations that fit the traveler’s specific search parameters.
WayBlazer is a privately held company based in Austin, Texas. The company is led by seasoned travel and tech entrepreneurs, including the Founder of Travelocity/Founding Chairman of Kayak.com and the former GM of IBM Watson.
It Started with Two Great Minds.
Terry Jones (Founder of Travelocity/Chairman at Kayak) and Manoj Saxena (Former GM of IBM Watson) came together to revolutionize their respective industries by asking two questions:
How can Travel and Artificial Intelligence work together?
How can A.I make travel easier, better AND faster?
Six months and eight employees later, WayBlazer was on its way. Packed like sardines in an RV, engineering, product, business development and design let the road be their canvas.
This road trip became the inspirational road map for WayBlazer’s beginnings. But the journey was not for the faint of heart; it was romantic, authentic, and a lot of people cramped in a small space with one bathroom.
But the challenge ahead didn’t intimidate the group; it fed their energy. After long nights of debate, thousands of lines of code, and several card games and beer cans later, the team had an epiphany:
To Truly Understand Travel, You Have to Experience It.
The eight person team hit the slopes off a distant mountain and witnessed the ancient rock formations of a high desert over their five day expedition. By experiencing travel firsthand, they discovered what it meant to be a part of WayBlazer.