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Yahoo's latest mobile app is a conversational travel planner

Engadget Engadget 21/06/2016 Andrew Dalton
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Yahoo's latest mobile app wants to help you browse more than just the internet. Radar, which launched today for iOS, acts as your "virtual travel guide" by using machine learning and artificial intelligence (not to mention the travel confirmations in your email) to offer additional recommendations, reviews and activities around your next destination.

In its first version, Radar scans your Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail or AOL account to find your travel plans. From there, the app is a little less like a search engine and a little more like a chat bot. Once it finds your next trip to a major US city, it will make some basic suggestions, which you can refine based on some conversational, pre-populated answers like "Adventurous" or "Family friendly." Even without travel plans, you can peruse options in any city in the country. Radar currently draws from sources like TripAdvisor and Yelp to recommend destinations, restaurants and even must-order dishes, but as Yahoo VP of product management Conrad Wai explained to VentureBeat Radar will also surface additional sources from its search engine. Radar will also learn your preferences over time, so it will recommend more of what you like on next year's big vacation as well.

While Radar doesn't yet offer in-app booking for flights or hotels, Wai believes the simple interface will still cut out a lot of the headache of travel planning. "If I can combine some of the 50 tabs I have [when researching trip planning] on-the-go, it would be great," Wai told VentureBeat. "We're trying to aggregate, distill, and combine information for the user across the web."

Radar's iOS version is currently available in the App Store, but no word yet on if or when an Android version will come along.


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