I could feel the hackers excitement as I stepped into the AT&T and American Airline’s room at the Hilton in downtown Austin at SXSW 2013. This isn’t AT&T Developers Program’s first rodeo at SXSW. All I know is things are super dialed in at these hacks. AT&T, American Airlines and the other sponsors (like dot CO, Hertz, and Voice Park), spare no expense to make sure these hackers are treated like royalty. Not only did they get all types of swag and great food, these hackers got to be some of the first to build on APIs from AT&T and American Airlines.
Up for grabs for first place at this hack was $10k. That is some serious cash! The competition was fierce and the winner was…… Airping! This app knows where a traveler is supposed to be, and if a traveler misses a flight, Airping will automatically suggest 3 other flights as alternative. Listen people….for a busy jet setter, this app could make life so much easier. If you have to chase money on the ground, and your flight is leaving, then Airping is a solution for you. The judges handed this team the number one slot, because the team’s pitch kicked butt, the UI was gorgeous, and the app strategically integrated multiple APIs. That’s how winners win! Some honorable mentions were Mokiico, and RoundTrip. (more info on these apss below)
Tweets and images from the hack can be found here.
The TravelHack after party was off the chain! It took place at the swanky TechZulu Trend lounge that was overlooking Downtown Austin from 18 floors up at the top of the Garden Hilton. AT&T and American Airlines went all out with this event. St. Lucia was in the house and brought in a banging PA system that almost blew the top of the joint. Knightly and The Bird rocked an awesome acoustic set. DJ 4Real had the turntables wobbling. With this type of line up, it is almost guaranteed that the party was going to crack off! Special shout out goes to WeLink who helped organize the after party, and ROAR who came in as a party sponsor. I attended this event and I believe I saw Anya Ayoung Chee in the house (winner of Project Runway #9 and a former Ms. Trinidad!). Big ups for the awesome party AT&T, and American Airlines, I can’t wait for the next one!
Below are the descriptions that each of the hack teams created for themselves. Some of these teams should be famous!
Team Round Trip – Round Trip is the first mobile app of its kind. This application will assist you in your travels starting before you leave your house and ending when you reach your destination. With features that will help you plan the best route, watch for traffic jams, check weather, reserve a rental vehicle, alert friends and family that you have reached your destination safely. Round Trip takes all of the hassle and headache out of traveling. Technologies used: MySQL Back End and APNS Push Services
Team EyePrism – EyePrism is a hands-free app that helps people on the go book flights, rent cars, book vacations, and more. Prism will be an extension of what you can do with the Google Glass. Technologies used: NodeJS and MongoDB
Team Plannerbot – How do you shop for hotels usually? You get a list or map of hotels that you can filter by price and rating. Is that helpful? Somewhat. Sometimes you can see a heatmap of attractions or restaurants. What are really looking for is a hotel that is located conveniently so that you can get to all the attractions that you have on your itinerary, not just all attractions and restaurants in the city. And who will help you figure out for how many days you should to stay at the destination? This is where Travelbot.co comes to rescue. Travelbot.co is the travel booking service that thinks like you, not like the hotelier. Technologies used: google maps, jquery, java, and tomcat
Team Travial Pursuit – It sucks to wait around while traveling, it’s fun to battle and even more fun to WIN STUFF. Our app allows users to battle in travel related trivia and win prizes! Technologies used: node.js, web sockets
Team Mokiico – We are game-ifying travel by air. With Mokiico, Travelers earn Mokiico points for everyday travel activities like checking-in for their flight by a certain time, arriving (and staying) at the gate on time, visiting preferred American Airlines merchants and retailers, sharing their check-ins on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and more. Travelers accumulate these Mokiico points to compete with fellow travelers in leader boards for elite Mokiico statuses and can redeem them for American Airlines rewards like miles. Mokiico monetizes the app through strategic partnerships with American Airlines preferred merchants and vendors. Technologies used: iOS
Team NearlyThere – NearlyThere provides a simple solution to solve two major problems for air travelers who nearly miss or miss their connecting flight. The orange button grabs the user’s name and location data to transmit to an iPad dashboard app provided for the Gate. The Gate can use this data to determine how close travelers are and whether or not they can keep the door open. The second button (red) is the “I missed my flight” button. Press this and the app will determine the next flight to your destination and will get you on it. IT then presents a view to add the new boarding pass to iOS Passbook. Java Web App built on the Spring Framework. Deployed via Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk. Backed by a scalable mySQL. This cloud service layer is utilized by the iPhone App and the iPad App.
Team AirPing – AirPing is the ONE app you need to know if you’ll make your flight on time. We provide a simple interface that gives you an ETA for travel time to airport, live flight change updates, and help you rebook flights if there are scheduling changes/delays. Technologies used: Google Maps API, to help us give passengers an idea of their ETA according to distance/traffic. Another option we’re looking to add in the future is the Expedia API to give security wait time estimates.
Team ASAP – ASAP is a B2B app for urgent travel. Hardware failures can kill any business (e.g. printing press problems for the Washington Post or a water pump down for the Monterey Acquarium). When they happen support need to move asap. ASAP is an app that automated all the logistical steps to take a technician to the hardware failure in the most efficient way: calculate how long it takes to reach the closest airport, check airport delays, booking faster flight to destination, ensuring a rental car is waiting at destination, and keeping the client updated with automated SMS sent by location fences ASAP only focus is to bring prompt help where it is needed the most. Tecnologies used: Python, Pyramid, Google Direction API, Amazon Web Services, Html5, and JQuery
Team Bag Tracker – Why should I know 1-2hrs after my flight that I lost my bag. I would like to know as soon or soon after I land so my time is not wasted. Technologies used: Google App engine and Android SDK
Team AirSleuth – Value Prop. Technologies used: SQL Server, C#, IIS, HTML, and CSS
Team Window Seat – With Window Seat App, every seat on the plane will be a ‘window seat’! Window Seat iPhone App is a deadly simple app to let you discover the interesting places you fly by on an airline. Technologies used: iOS SDK
Team Flipardy – When you are arriving to a new city, you can discover a complete new world, we will guide you at your visit. Through the lens of your camera you will find the more important/tourist sites of the place, you will find “”MILES REWARDS”” if you go to the places or even you can buy it, could you imagine buying the “”Empire State on NY””, an be the owner on your own virtual world? You can win more miles if you answers the trivia about your trip. Technologies used: Augmented Reaity, geolocation, open graph, php, jquery, and Native IOS
Team Side Trip AR – Turn your next trip into an adventure: Side Trip AR helps you see and explore the most exciting layovers on a 3D globe. Technologies used: Unity
Team SayitCheckit – i’m Shai Leib, and one of the most frustrating things about travel is to find out if a flight is delayed. Imagine running late for a flight or going to pick up friends or family. You want to instantly know if a flight is on time. we solved the problem of getting instant flight status, by creating a speech driven flight status app called SayitCheckit, that allows the user to use natural language to get instant flight status results. Technologies used: Natural language processing to understand natural speech to get flight status