Road trip-oriented travel planning

Desti, Siri's sister app, now emphasizes building an itinerary along planned travel routes.

Choosing restaurants

Desti uses much of Siri's backend technology, but applies it to trip planning.

Group trip planning

Desti bills its new group travel functionality as "just like sharing a document on Google."

The Desti App Is Like Siri For Road-trip Planning

Desti, a travel app that shares some of Siri's DNA, is restructuring its product as an intelligent road trip planner.

Apple's personal assistant, Siri, was a spinoff from SRI International, a genius California think tank that built it as part of a $180 million DARPA project.

The same project also gave birth to travel app Desti. This "intelligent trip planner" shares much of Siri's DNA, but uses it for the express purpose of planning trips and vacations. Desti just unveiled a new iteration of its iPad app, which takes its personal travel planner goal in unexpected directions.

The new version of Desti is based around map-based planning, where restaurants and lodging searches are cued to a user's mapped route. The technology is designed to steer users toward attractions they will be driving by, and adds semantic searches to a map-centric interface. Another interesting new feature is collaborative trip planning, which resembles Google Docs, and allows friends and colleagues to jointly organize trips; this functionality also includes Facebook integration.

"Since launching Desti nationally in July, we have been inundated with user requests for more support in planning road trips as well as requests for new content like restaurants and vacation rentals. There’s nothing we like better than satisfied users—this release is for them," Desti CEO Nadav Gir said in a release. "Desti is making the vacation planning process easier by searching through the millions of travel sites on the web and aggregating content into one place. These new updates take the pain out of planning and replace it with an engaging travel discovery experience."

[Image: Flickr user zeevveez]

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