KAYAK has announced that users of Amazon Alexa devices, such as the Echo, can now book hotel rooms with the company's Alexa Skill, among other new talents. The KAYAK Skill for Alexa can now keep track of the user's flights and trips, search flights by location and class, and set Price Alerts for saved searches in flights. The room booking process can be initiated simply by asking Alexa to book a room. Saying something like "Alexa, ask KAYAK to book me a room in Clearwater," will pull results from Priceline and Booking.com, then confirm what room you want, and lock in your reservation on the spot.
The new talents for the KAYAK Alexa skill are only available for those who have a KAYAK account and have linked it to their Amazon Alexa device. From there, just enabled the KAYAK skill in Alexa, and you can search for things like flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars. You can even use KAYAK to ask Alexa where you can go on a given budget, giving the skill a chance to use all of its various talents in concert to figure out what kind of a vacation is feasible for a given budget, so long as it's at least enough to book a hotel room somewhere.
KAYAK is one of many Alexa skills that take advantage of the platform's built-in natural language processing. This means that users don't have to issue commands perfectly in order to get things done, and if a user stutters, trips up on a word, or doesn't quite get the command right, Alexa is forgiving enough that it can usually still trigger the desired command by using machine learning to put up a best guess of what a user said, and gauge how safe that guess is to use. The KAYAK Skill launched on Alexa about a year ago, and has been steadily improving since then. It works on all Alexa-enabled devices, including the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, the company's range of Fire products, and the various smartphones whose manufacturers have partnered with Amazon to package Alexa into their products.