17 Oct Travel Hackathon 2018
As Turkish Airlines, we try to increase the travel experience of our passengers to higher levels with innovative applications. While working on new applications, we are trying to create an aviation-specific ecosystem by supporting new initiatives.
We made the first travel hackathon last year to enrich the passenger experience and discover innovative ideas in this field. We encountered innovative projects at the event that we carried out in our Flight Training Center. We think this hackathon is an important start for both Turkish Airlines and the aviation industry.
We were very happy and excited to organize Travel Hackathon 2018 in our New Home with İGA, as part of Teknofest Istanbul, the Aviation, Space and Technology Festival, which was held between 20 and 23 September this year.
Turkey’s first Aviation, Space and Technology Festival which Teknofest Istanbul, on its way to support the local and national technology providers and initiatives, has become an event that bring together Turkish and the whole world very closely. The festival, where all technology giants exhibited their projects along with the air shows that took place during the event, hosted thousands of people. UAV, drone, unmanned underwater vehicles and rocket competitions attracted the attention of technology lovers. The fact that Travel Hackathon 2018 was among these competitions also made us proud.
Ideas that turn into a product at the end of hackathon are undoubtedly the biggest factor that makes a hackathon valuable. The services and technology infrastructure that will help them in realizing the ideas of the teams are very important. That’s why we wanted to make partner as many stakeholders for hackathon as possible.
The teams participating in Hackathon have developed solutions using API services offered through the Turkish Airlines Developer Portal, as well as a total of 26 services and historical flight data opened specifically for hackathon. In addition, while the hackathon stakeholder SITA, Saber and Amadeus offered their aviation-specific services, Turkcell opened messaging services with Bip. While opening IETT, İBB, İsbak services for city related services, Here, Boni and Yandex provided services on transportation and map. He shared IBM services with competitors to provide technology infrastructure. Thus, the teams enriched their solutions by using the services provided by the companies.
In addition, Ceri from the Startershub team organized a workshop on entrepreneurship and presentation techniques for the participating teams.
After the date, location and awards of Hackathon were determined, we immediately launched our website and started to receive the records.
We wanted the applications to be made in a team. As we wanted to develop a prototype at the end of 48 hours, we paid particular attention to the competence and roles of the people in the team to bring the idea to life.
We created the application page with Airtable. Then, we managed all the people, teams, project information and all processes related to the organization through the Airtable chart and views.
Although we only received team applications, we also wanted to offer an option to those who want to apply individually. That’s why we created a Slack group and asked our friends who want to join individually to introduce themselves through these channels and create a team. Afterwards, we invited our friends who were approved to participate in the hackathon to the Slack group and communicated through different channels. Like Airtable, Slack has become another indispensable digital tool of the organization for us.
One of the most challenging process was determining the teams to be invited. During the application, we only received the skills and ideas of the people on the team. As a result of the evaluation lasting all weekend, we determined and invited 42 teams. 35 of the teams we invited joined the hackathon.
Since our Hackathon is part of Teknofest, we have been allocated a 1200 square meter tent. Part of the tent, which we have divided into 3 sections, is the resting area with cushions, pouffe, foosball tables and Play Stations; dining room, some of which are open buffet 3 times a day, with 24-hour cold, hot drinks and refreshments; The other part was the main hall where the contestants developed their projects for 48 hours and where our stage and LED screen were located.
Hackathon started with the opening speech of Turkish Airlines IT Strategy and Governance Senior Vice President Mr. Yurdakan İşkesen, CIO of IGA Mr. Ersin İnankul, T3 Foundation Board Member Mr. Serdar Gürbüz and Digital Innovation Specialist Mr. Mehmet Emin Sandıklı.
We wanted to have mentors who could support competitors both technically and mentally while developing their projects during the hackathon. Nearly 50 mentors, consisting of Turkish Airlines employees, managers and hackathon stakeholders guided them through the development process. Since it is not possible for al 35 teams to make presentations to the jury, 10 teams selected for finals after parallel semi-final presentations.
Along with Mr. İşkesen, Mr. Gürbüz and Mr. İnankul, VP of Digital Services Mr. Mehmet Bütün, VP of Online Sales Solutions Mr. Cengiz Değirmenci, IT Resource Manager Mrs. Ayşe Kıyıklık, Business Application Manager Mr. Olgay Demirci, IT Project Manager Mr. Halil İbrahim Cebe and executives from stakeholders also made the assessment. The jury consist of 15 members evaluated the final presentations and decided the winners.
Award Winning Projects
Fast & Free: After this challenging race, Fast & Free team, who thinks that the time spent to receive a tax refund in the office after customs during the Tax Refund transactions negatively affect the pre-flight experiences of the passengers, contributes positively to their pre-flight experiences with their products. The team won the first prize with the Easy return project to increase the speed and efficiency at the service point, which is the European Business Class round-trip flight ticket + 15 thousand TL.
Captain Speaking: It ranked 2nd in Travel Hackathon 2018 with Sweetcase, which is equipped with sensors, is an internet-connected smart suitcase and mobile application solutions that enable it to interact with this suitcase. Thanks to the black box inside, Sweetcase records the sensor metrics throughout the journey, thus providing information on how, where and when the damage occurred if the suitcase was damaged. With this project, Captain Speaking won the european economy class round trip flight ticket + 10 thousand TL.
SociBoard: SociBoard, which aims to solve problems such as boring long journeys, having little information about the place where the passengers will go, took the 3rd place with a mobile application that allows the passengers to connect with different communication channels before, during and after the flight, won the domestic business class round trip flight ticket + 5 thousand TL.
Projects with Special Awards
Hypersoft: The team, which develops a mobile application that lists the flight information, hotel reservation and activities in the city, and also gives advice, has been awarded a BIP Special Award, valid for 15 thousand TL in Turkcell stores.
HisarCS: The team developing an AR application aimed at gamification of the flight experience and increasing the number of Miles and Smiles members. In this application, the app will give brief information about the place where target hit and reward passenger with some miles, when our passengers hit targets randomly distributed in the Istanbul Airport. With this project, HisarCS won the JBL T450Bt Wireless Headset, the Saber Special Award.
Throttle: It created a platform for the flight crews to be allocated automatically at the crew terminal of the new airport, taking into account the flight times of the crews, and ensuring that the teams meet in the briefing room on time.
Istbee: Using AR technology, they worked on a mobile application with navigation and indoor map applications within the terminal.
CNGSoft: Based on the complexity of the airports, they developed a mobile application that enables the display of signboards within the airport with AR technology and to be translated into different language options.
The Throttle, Istbee and CNGSoft teams have also been awarded the Drone and GoPro, Here Special Award for their projects.
Hackathon is over, what will happen now?
As we have told all contestants, we will decide how we can support not only the finalists, but also all the teams that participate in the hackathon and develop creative solutions. After the meetings with the teams, we will start projects on realizing some solutions together. We are very excited to have many projects that can be worked on.
As we always say, “The biggest factor that makes a hackathon valuable is undoubtedly the ideas that eventually turn into a product.”