Amadeus used its own hotel API and others from SilverRail, Goby, Google and Facebook to create a sports fans travel recommendations website, using the away games of the NFL New England Patriots as a case in point, to take top honors at THack Boston.
A team of a half-dozen or so Amadeus developers also used Amadeus Master Pricer as air became the default transportation option for Patriots fans who may want to mull their travel choices for away games at the Buffalo Bills or Oakland Raiders on the upcoming NFL schedule, for instance.
"The tool automatically researches air and hotels using the recommendation engines and selects the cheapest flight and hotel based on other travelers' past trips," Jerome Petit, Amadeus manager of Software Engineering Product Development, North America, explains a couple of days after the 24-hour THack. "Dates are automatically centered around the weekend of the event so by default the user is not asked for usual search parameters such as city pairs and dates."
The Amadeus developers added rail options from SilverRail, and activities idea from Goby, which were plotted on a Google Map.
The social element was the "final touch," Petit says, noting that users could share their trip plans on Facebook.
The application was coded using Google Web Toolkit for the front end, although the Amadeus developers concede they didn't have enough time to fine-tune the user interface.
THacks' two judges, Tnooz Nodes Valyn Perini and Glenn Gruber, based their selection on six assigned criteria: originality/innovation; the quality of final product; the explanation of the hack’s capability; the opportunity within existing or new systems; the fitness for the purpose; and commercial viability/funding potential.
Although perhaps a couple of dozen developers may have participated in the THack, only two other hacks were presented after undoubtedly a long night of coding and caffeine.
Daniel DuVal, who leads mobile efforts for Delta Air Lines, created an Android app using the Traxo and Goby APIs.
Duval’s app pushed out in-destination activities to users from Goby based on their Traxo itineraries. The app was designed to provide flight updates and refresh activity options as users ambled around a city.
And Roman Peskin, co-founder and CEO of DealAngel, created an app using the Amadeus hotel API and Goby to graphically display hotel rates and available activities so that users could determine the most appropriate travel dates based on six months of pricing and their desired activities.
Of the three hacks, Perini said the Amadeus hack was the most commercially viable as fans of particular teams would were be interested and the hack could be aimed at particular markets.
Gruber, acknowledging that Amadeus may have had an advantage because six or seven local developers were involved, liked the fact that the Amadeus tool incorporated social media and the potential of the social graph.
The other hacks picked up support, as well.
Perini characterized DuVal's Android app, which pushes activities recommendations to users, as "really forward thinking," although she added it "might be a little ahead of the curve."
From the audience, Stephen Joyce, who heads Rezgo and is a Tnooz Node, said he was "impressed" with the hotel pricing aspect of Peskin's hack, which might be used by consumers to drive decision-making.
Several developers noted they would have been more successful if they had been given some additional time and it was suggested it would be helpful if API providers would provide examples of ways to use their APIs.
Note: Amadeus, along with ITA Software, were sponsors of THack Boston.