The UK's leading travel company Thomson today gave an insight into the key technological developments that are likely to benefit the travel industry in the near future.

Thomson announced the birth of Thomson Labs - where Thomson will showcase new ideas to existing customers and give them the opportunity to help develop travel technology of the future.

Graham Donoghue, head of new media for Thomson, identified the technology that could change the face of travel in the near future:

Booking a holiday with your fingertip - biometric fingerprint scanning could make travel of the future simpler - the fingertip is a unique identifier for the customer's profile and bookings. This technology is currently being rolled out on modern PCs. A customer would scan their fingertip on their computer and store personal booking information that they can retrieve at a travel kiosk, at the airport check-in desk, or hotel - this makes it easier to provide a more integrated on and offline service to customers.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) - A mobile phone, equipped with a bar code reader, would enable customers to scan bar codes on advertisements or holiday brochures; details of availability information can then be displayed on their mobile phone screen. A booking confirmation would have a unique barcode that the customer would scan to store it in the phone so that travel shops, hotels and airports would be able to instantly recognise the customer using an RFID reader - speeding up the check in and security processes.

Voice Search technology is currently being tested. The technology will enable people to speak their search request into their mobile device. Graham said, "Voice search technology is functionality that will make mobile web surfing simpler and take the internet truly mobile. The technology particularly lends itself to travel, enabling people to research their destination whilst they are already on holiday, for example finding a highly rated restaurant and finding their way using mobile maps and satellite navigation on their telephone."