First Ever In-flight Wearable Technology Hackathon

Jul 16, 2014 • Mobile, Startups
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imageAmerican Airlines and Wearable World are proud to announce the completion of the world’s first connected traveler hackathon. The event, which took place between New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) featured collaborative work among hundreds of app developers, hardware providers and technology partners to showcase the future of wearable technology for the connected traveler.

“At American, we’re extremely sensitive to our customer’s evolving needs, and wearable technology is a quickly-growing market,” said Phillip Easter, Director Mobile Apps at American Airlines. “By working with these developers, Wearable World and our partners such as MasterCard in this event, American can help develop new and innovative technologies that will be part of tomorrow’s connected travel experience.”

Four teams of developers nominated in phase one of the event were given thirty days to develop demonstrations for the flight. Onboard, teams showed off technology like Furry Flyers, an app that allows passengers to monitor the health and status of their traveling pets, while airport teams like Proximity Signage demonstrated an app that monitors a passenger’s location and displays relevant flight data on overhead screens.

The in-flight demonstration took place on a new American Airlines Airbus A321 Transcontinental (A321T), featuring three classes of service, individual AC power outlets and USB jacks available at every seat throughout the aircraft as well as Gogo’s upgraded ATG-4 Wi-Fi service.

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Teams applied a variety of software and hardware solutions including APIs from Concur, Mastercard and Weather Underground to build their technologies. “Concur is always looking to push the boundaries of innovation in the business travel space through the Concur Platform,” John Dietz, VP of Platform Marketing, Concur Technologies said. “By participating in the Wearable World hack and through our Perfect Trip DevCon in October, Concur is strongly demonstrating the value and innovation that it can bring to next-generation travel solutions.”

“We’re proud that three out of four finalists included MasterCard APIs,” Mario Shiliashki, SVP & Group Head, Open API and MasterCard Emerging Payments added. “Integrated into wearable solutions like these, tools like Simplify Commerce really emphasize the importance of accepting payments in making consumer travel as frictionless as possible.”

Each technology was evaluated by a panel of traveling passengers during the flight, and the winning team, UsTwo, a tool for passively sending location-based travel updates, was awarded a technology incubation in Wearable World, a MasterCard gift card and the opportunity to continue development with American Airlines.

“This was a great opportunity to explore how wearable technology will integrate throughout the travel industry specifically for the connected traveler,” Kyle Ellicott, Co-Founder/CTO Wearable World said. “We look forward to working alongside UsTwo and to one day very soon seeing their technology in the hands of the empowered consumer.”

Efren Toscano

Efren Toscano founded TechZulu in the heart of Southern California: Orange County. Focused on providing a platform to showcase all that is happening here in the tech and media space. TechZulu is rapidly growing to be the hub for Southern California technology companies news source. Efren has been chosen as one of LA Weekly's People of 2009 and selected as a Top 20 MostPublic Individuals in Los Angeles in Tech and Biz by NowPublic. He divides his time between San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and tech events around the US.

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