Technology Pulse: A roundup of digital news
Technology Pulse: A roundup of digital news
13 AUGUST 2019 2:32 PM

This month’s roundup of news from the technology sector includes hacking hotel elevators; Uber getting into broader travel booking; and more.

Hotel News Now’s Tech Impact Report each month features a news roundup from the hotel technology sector. Subscribe to the free monthly report here

Elevators are a target for hackers, kind of
Wired recently took a look at the world of “elevator phone phreaking,” which at best is a somewhat invasive hobby that allows people to eavesdrop on hotels’ (and other businesses’) elevators and at worst redirect vital emergency contact lines.

"I can dial into an elevator phone, listen in on private conversations, reprogram the phone so that if someone hits it in an emergency it calls a number of my choosing," freelance security researcher Will Caruana said.

Vetting travel deals through Google
In the tech giant’s seemingly endless quest to grab an ever larger piece of the travel pie, Google now offers analysis of flight prices, according to Lifehacker, which allows travelers to check if sale prices are “low, high or typical for what it traditionally is.”

No word yet on if Google is looking to offer similar insights to travelers on hotel rates.

Uber as an OTA?
While it might not be as major as Airbnb getting into the hotel booking business, Uber is similarly looking to offer some OTA-esque services, including allowing travelers to book bus and train tickets, according to The New York Times.

The newspaper notes the integration of public transit is aimed at bridging the gap between travelers looking to take those forms of transportation and typical ride-hailing customers. The service is rolling out in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia, although some municipalities seem skeptical.

“There are real questions about forming partnerships that may end up pushing riders away from public transportation,” Adie Tomer, a metropolitan policy fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the newspaper.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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