Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Holiday videos coming to a phone near you

It should be quite evident by now that the concepts of social media and shared content are not trends which will fizzle out like the latest high street fad.

Rather, sites like YouTube are increasingly important to travel providers, and those which successfully embrace such technologies only stand to gain loyal customers.

That said, the recent announcement from electronics manufacturing giant Sharp Corp about the development of a new type of LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) panel, which will allow people to view streaming video on mobile phones and other handheld devices, should be treated with much fanfare.

The new panels boast a wide viewing angle of 176 degrees and a high-speed response time of eight milliseconds (three times as fast as conventional panels).

They are also supposedly cheaper to produce than their high-tech equivalents, so can appeal to the mass-market.

If the news does not move you to animated levels of excitement, it should at least pique your curiosity as to what this means for the social-media driven online travel industry.

Camera and phone manufacturers are increasingly incorporating a video function into their products. Users in turn can upload videos of their holiday on to sites like YouTube.

The finer technology of the sort Sharp has created (and no doubt many of its competitors are producing) only adds momentum to social media "trend", opening new points of access to millions of consumers.

The use of mobiles to explore and purchase travel and to share travel experiences may not be omnipresent yet, but we're getting there.

Tricia Holly Davis, chief writer, Travolution

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