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Priceline augments location technology to enhance hotel booking app

February 3, 2011 has enhanced its hotel booking Android application by augmenting the way the device uses the native GPS functionality within the app.

The company partnered with Skyhook to use its location engine and integrate it in the application. The application is available for free download in the Android Market.

“Our app relies on being able to precisely determine where the customer is located so we can show them available hotels and their proximity,” said Brian Ek, spokesman for Priceline, New York. “The Skyhook technology happens to facilitate much more precise locating when the customer is in a Wi-Fi hotspot, as opposed to the device’s default locating capabilities.”

Priceline provides worldwide online travel services such selling airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.

Skyhook provides positioning to tens of millions of consumer mobile devices and applications.

Mobile bookings
The company is using the Skyhook technology to let users know precisely where they are in a town and where their best hotel options are located.

Consumers can look at the best choices and then book their trip directly via their smartphone.

Android customers who use the Hotel Negotiator application can save up to 50 percent over published hotel rates.

Additionally, customers can shake their smartphone to establish their location and the application then performs a winning bid search for hotels in the surrounding areas.

“The unique app features native to Android would include the locating feature, the ability to shake the phone and activate the hotel search feature, the ability to use the app in portrait and landscape modes,” Mr. Ek said.

Name your price and save
Consumers using the application can also enter their instant bid and get results immediately.

The application features two booking options where customers can use Priceline’s Name Your Own Price service or book the room via their handset or call Priceline’s hotel booking specialists.

“It’s a two-horse race with the iPhone and Android,” Mr. Ek said. “It’s important for us to have apps for the devices our customers are using.”

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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