The second Tnooz THack Bangalore took place last weekend at the offices of HolidayIQ.
In a slightly different twist to the previous thirteen Tnooz THacks, this event included a Travelport Challenge alongside the established Tnooz-driven competition.
Amadeus was the third sponsor alongside HolidayIQ and Travelport.
So, starting with the Travelport Challenge.
The brief for this part of the hack was for the tech community - in-house and external - to work on an "inspirational search" product based on its existing Flex Explore tool, accessible via the Travelport Universal API.
Developers have had a longer run at this, and the hacks presented were the culmination of two months' work.
The team which won the cash prize was known as Mango Thadka, whose hack was a web-based app which used mapping technology to place flight and hotel priced packages onto a map of India.
A local development business WebCRS walked away with one year's free membership of the Travelport Developer Network (worth $4,000) and a free application certification fee worth $2,000.
Its hack offered total trip price comparison for travel agents creating packages to India.
The Tnooz challenge forced developers to work a bit more on the hoof - registered participants were sent access to the sponsor APIs only a week ago, although a few brave souls turned up on Saturday and started work onsite.
Tnooz outlined four challenges which the teams had to address using at least one of the sponsor APIs in combination with publicly available ones. Two of these challenges required a specific India component - multi-modal journeys to and from India and using mobile to enhance a trip within India - while the other two - personalization and wearables - were given free rein.
Three prizes of $1,000 were awarded.
The judges were:
- Shekhar Kirani, a partner at investment fund Accel Ventures
- Anand Kandadai, executive director for Czech-republic based inbound tour operator Tourismer and a former-vice president at Indian OTA MakeMyTrip
- Pradeep Banavara - head of engineering at cookie-less predictive search platform TookiTaki and former architect for Microsoft Ventures
The winner of the $1,000 prize for a team comprising one or two developers went to TripBuddy, a one-man team who used AIML - artificial intelligence mark-up language - to create an intelligent travel chatbot which connected with the Amadeus and Holiday IQ APIs.
Tripbuddy was able to respond to questions typed into a chat window such as "what is the cheapest flight from Delhi to Bangalore?" by pulling flight data from Amadeus and replying in natural language, all done automatically.
A group of five Amadeus developers who called themselves "The Jedi" shared the $1,000 prize for teams of more than three. They produced an Android app which connected with a business traveller's calendar and suggested activities and events of interest, based on social graph data.
Their hack also factored in distances, so that events close to the next scheduled meeting in the calendar were prioritised.
The final Tnooz prize known as "The People's Choice" was voted for by the developers themselves - only those who had taken part in the hack and were in the room at the time were allowed to vote, and Holiday IQ oversaw the ballot to ensure there was no tactical voting!
TripBuddy walked away with this $1,000 prize as well, showing a nice symmetry between what the judges thought was the most innovative and what the developers themselves thought too.
Meanwhile, Amadeus also offered a separate $2000 cash prize for the best use of its API to another one-man band. Destiny used the Amadeus API in conjunction with Foursquare and Google Places to provide information and costs for ground transportation between attractions and the traveller's hotel.
Finally, HolidayIQ offered two nights' accommodation for the best use of its API to Know Where To Roam for using social graph data from Facebook to suggest travel and activities sourced from the HolidayIQ platform.
NB:Pictures from the event are on the Tnooz Facebook page.