Winners of PTS hackathon announced
The organizers of Passenger Technology Solutions have announced the winners of the first PAX TECH HACK, held earlier this month in Hamburg from April 2 to 4. Of the 50 international participants that entered the contest, CloudLounge and BudJet came out on top and claimed their share of the €10,000 prize pool.
The PAX TECH HACK, backed by supporting organisation IATA, asked participating developers to respond to one of two challenges: the Inflight Passenger Community Challenge or Boost Airport Retail Challenge. After a short welcome and introduction to Passenger Experience Week, 12 teams were formed with developers uniting to combine ideas before undertaking 48-hours of non-stop coding on the PTS show floor.
CloudLounge, the winners of the Inflight Passenger Community Challenge, included first-time hackathon participants Tugberk Duman, Minja Silvennoinen and Tatjana Förster. Together they created an easy-to-use personal networking experience that enables passengers to use an IFE camera or QR code to join the virtual lounge of a fellow traveler.
Duman said of the win: “It’s a great feeling to win, especially as a team of three when we’re competing against larger teams of developers and designers. We had a good focus throughout the challenge and clicked as a team. We believe the world is moving forward and instead of creating more apps for our personal devices, we can make use of the industry’s existing infrastructure.”
Team BudJet, which included developers Evgeny Becker, Peter Martischka, Simon Hanke, Lukas Antesberger and Natalie Moschner, were chosen as winners of the Boost Airport Retail Challenge for their solution which matches passengers with products available at an airport based on a designated budget. The app helps passengers navigate through an airport, passing by shops of interest and helping maximum their time at the terminal, while driving revenue opportunities for retailers.
Expert panelist Sylvain Guilbon, Head of Customer Program Management at SITAONAIR, said: “As judges, what impressed us the most was the level of professionalism and quality brought to the final project presentations, after 48 hours of non-stop work. The presentations were not only polished and thorough, but took into consideration prototype functionality and clearly identified the pain points that the projects would address, as well as the potential business models to bring these ideas to market.
“Both teams addressed specific use cases in the passenger journey with an innovative approach and clear, concise, yet out-of-the-box, thinking. Being focused on safety, first and foremost, the aviation industry tends to move at its own pace. It’s fantastic to see game-changing ideas like these that can enable air transport to be, not only safer, but faster and more enjoyable.”
Guilbon was joined by fellow expert panelists Pierre Charbonneau, Director, Passenger Experience & Facilitation, International Air Transport Association (IATA); Dr Stathis Kefallonitis, Founder & President, branding.aero and Noesis Analysis Labs; and Katie Murphy, Portfolio Director, Passenger Experience Week.
Speaking about the PAX TECH HACK, Charbonneau commented: “I believe this industry has a unique edge over many others in the fact that most people travel for business or pleasure, and everyone has their own view of what could be improved. The next generation of aviation professionals are increasingly immersed in technology, and by working with digital suppliers and software developers, the pool for which new ideas can be facilitated is unlimited. Initiatives like the PAX TECH HACK are crucial in helping to stimulate innovation for the industry.”
Archana Sharma, Exhibitor Director, Passenger Technology Solutions, added: “All of our PAX TECH HACK developers deserve a huge round of applause for their hard work and determination. The solutions presented provided a unique insight into the opportunities offered by technology and a glimpse into the future of the passenger journey and what we can expect to see on board.”
Passenger Technology Solutions will return as part of Passenger Experience Week 2020 from March 31 to April 3 to provide a platform that enables those responsible for cabin design, in-flight entertainment, connectivity, technology, passenger comfort, travel catering and onboard retail to deliver on the demands of the 21st-century passenger.