Vonage | March 02, 2022
Vonage (Nasdaq: VG), a global leader in cloud communications helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation, announced that VoicePing has chosen the Vonage Video API to power innovative virtual reality (VR) travel experiences via its Dokodemo (Anywhere) Door Trip service. The service uses 360° photography and video, as well as VR goggles and a computer, to enable users to enjoy virtual travel as if they were there in real life.
VoicePing is a Japan-based start-up company established in 2019 and focused on developing and providing intuitive, realistic virtual experiences, including virtual office environments. As demand for immersive digital experiences grows , the company is actively developing a variety of VR-related services through a capital and business alliance with MetaReal Corp.
To provide a high-quality VR travel service, VoicePing needed to implement superior video calling capabilities quickly and seamlessly within their application and at scale. Using the Vonage Video API, VoicePing built a VR travel service that enables overwhelmingly realistic video playback, two-way voice communication, and automatic AI translation.
At VoicePing, we are building solutions that empower people around the world to interact with anyone, anytime, anywhere, language-free, and enjoy their lives, work, and lifestyles through the use of the latest technology," said Mr. Kei Shimizu, VoicePing Project Manager. "We chose Vonage to develop the video function within our advanced VR experiences because Vonage provides high quality video and audio, is easily implemented and operated within our applications, and has global reach and scale to grow as user adoption grows around the world.
"The pandemic has greatly restricted the ability to travel and experience new countries and cultures, and caused a major shift in the way we engage with one another. As more and more experiences become virtual, demand continues to increase for experiences that rival in-person interaction, Vonage is proud to enable innovative businesses VoicePing to build immersive, interactive virtual experiences around the world."
-Amitha Pulijala, VP of Product, Platform Services, AI and Video, Vonage
Virtual travelers can take advantage of Dokodemo Door Trip experiences through either GuideMeetup, which allows users to experience a trip while talking with a local guide in real time, alongside 360° VR images captured by the local guide, or by using the WorldRambler service, which enables users to freely tour each country without a local guide. A key feature of the GuideMeetup service driven by the Video API is that travelers are not only able to enjoy the visuals of a location, but can also have a real-time conversation and interaction with the local guide.
In addition to Dokodemo Door Trip, VoicePing and MetaReal are developing a variety of VR services powered by the Vonage Video API, including Dokodemo Door Party, which creates a realistic karaoke experience; VR Therapy, which allows users to experience therapy in a virtual space; and VR Music, a live music distribution service.
The Vonage Communications Platform has more than one million registered developers and offers a full suite of programmable voice, video, messaging, and email services to forward-thinking businesses throughout the Asia-Pacific market and worldwide. Through its partners, Vonage's platform is at the center of many notable transformational projects in the region, and a de facto for startups.
Vonage, (Nasdaq:VG) a global cloud communications leader, helps businesses accelerate their digital transformation. Vonage's Communications Platform is fully programmable and allows for the integration of Video, Voice, Chat, Messaging and Verification into existing products, workflows and systems. Vonage's fully programmable unified communications and contact center applications are built from the Vonage platform and enable companies to transform how they communicate and operate from the office or remotely - providing the flexibility required to create meaningful engagements.
Vonage Holdings Corp. is headquartered in New Jersey, with offices throughout the United States, Europe, Israel and Asia. To follow Vonage on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/vonage. To become a fan on Facebook, go to facebook.com/vonage. To subscribe on YouTube, visit youtube.com/vonage.
Google Travel | June 01, 2021
Google is making moves that further blur the line between hotels and private accommodations.
The search giant says searches for “beach rentals” and “staycations” grew by more than 100% globally in the last year. It wants to better serve that interest by combining vacation rentals and hotels in one comprehensive search result for a destination.
The “vacation rentals” filter – launched in 2019 – remains for users that want to limit results to only non-hotel properties. Still, without that filter, the default display will show both types of accommodations.
Google says results are ranked organically based on relevance to the user’s query. The company would not provide a list of current supply partners, but searches on the site show listings from Tripadvisor, Vacasa, Red Awning, Sonder, Rentals United, and others.
Vrbo listings had been on the site for nearly two years but in its earnings call in February, Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern announced the company had pulled them, saying, “We didn’t find investment in the Google vacation rental product particularly incremental, we didn’t think the customer experience was precious, and we are of course also having a period where we see great direct traffic for Vrbo. So we found other ways, and I’d argue more profitable ways, to drive traffic.”
It’s unclear at this stage whether properties from Booking.com and Airbnb are participating in the vacation rental search.
Google announced the new combined hotels and vacation rental search product Thursday morning during its Google Marketing Live online event.
“We’ve seen growing and sustained interest in vacation rentals since the start of the pandemic and have evolved our product accordingly to meet those user preferences. This launch is the first time that we’re showing results that combine both hotels and vacation rentals when a user is trying to find a place to stay,” says a company spokesperson via email.
Prism Hotels & Resorts | December 15, 2021
Dallas-based Prism Hotels & Resorts, an award-winning, full-service hotel management, investment and advisory services company representing more than 48 properties across the country, has been acquired by Aimbridge Hospitality, a leading global hospitality company. The terms of the deal will not be disclosed. The announcement was made by Steve Van, President & CEO of Prism Hotels & Resorts and Aimbridge President & CEO Michael J. Deitemeyer.
In addition to a strong presence in traditional hotel management, Prism boasts the industry leading hotel receivership advisory and "turnaround" services involving the management and restructuring of properties that are economically distressed.
In a year marked by immense change, it's fitting that we announce the biggest moves in our company's storied 38 year history," Van said. "Close relationships have become integral to our company's identity, and we place tremendous value in our people with whom we've grown together and the great properties we service. It's with those values in mind that we have selected Aimbridge Hospitality to carry the Prism legacy forward. Aimbridge's access to best-in-class resources and systems, coupled with their highly effective and experienced leadership team and deep understanding of our Most Satisfied Owner philosophy, makes them a perfect fit. The Prism Difference is alive and well, and we know the passion and dedication of our teams on the ground will continue to shine through this transition. We are inspired by this opportunity and excited to be part of Aimbridge Hospitality as we write the next chapter of history together. Our best is yet to come.
"We are excited to continue Aimbridge's growth with the acquisition of Prism.,With our global resources and Prism's stellar reputation, this acquisition presents great opportunity for all of us. We look forward to welcoming their hotels, owners and talented team to Aimbridge and taking Prism's incredible Most Satisfied Owner approach and robust lender services arm to new heights together."
-Michael J. Deitemeyer, President & CEO of Aimbridge Hospitality
About Prism Hotels & Resorts
As an award-winning, full-service hotel management company, Dallas-based Prism Hotels & Resorts has developed a reputation for operational excellence by increasing hotel performance and delivering measurable results. Recently, Prism was selected as 2021 Strategic Partner by Hyatt. The company was also named Best Full-Service Operator in The Americas by Hyatt, received back-to-back Connie Pride Merit Awards from Hilton, and earned Franchise Hotel of the Year for the Hyatt Regency LAX. With 35 years of experience, Prism leverages top industry talent to produce a best-in-class experience that extends from the front desk to the bottom line. Prism manages a portfolio of over 30 hotels from multiple institutional and private owners including urban, suburban and resort destinations. The company has expertise managing all major brands as well as independent destination hotels. For more information, please visit www.prismhotels.com.
About Aimbridge Hospitality
Aimbridge Hospitality is a leading, global hospitality company offering best-in-class hotel management services across a broad spectrum of franchised branded full service, select service, luxury hotels, destination resorts, convention centers and lifestyle hotels. Aimbridge's premium portfolio represents approximately 1,500 properties in 49 states and 20 countries, inclusive of pipeline. With the most robust brand diversity in the industry, Aimbridge and its affiliates represent 84 lodging brands, in addition to more than 82 independent boutique/lifestyle hotels in the portfolio. As the world's largest third-party operator, Aimbridge is dedicated to its mission to leverage its scale to add value for owners and opportunities for associates better than any hospitality operator. Aligned with a concentrated focus, agility, and expertise for each vertical, Aimbridge drives market success for hotels and optimizes investment returns for owners. Aimbridge Hospitality's global headquarters is based in Plano, Texas, with additional corporate offices in Atlanta, Calgary, Fargo, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Evolution Hospitality, Aimbridge's Lifestyle Division, is based in San Clemente, Calif. Aimbridge's International Division, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, has supporting offices across Europe in Amsterdam, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Moscow. The company's division in Mexico, Group Hotelero Prisma, has offices in Monterrey and Mexico City. For more information on Aimbridge Hospitality, please visit www.aimbridgehospitality.com and connect with Aimbridge on LinkedIn.