Expedia joined more than 1,500 of the best and brightest developers and designers in the Bay Area (and beyond) this weekend to participate at LAUNCH Hackathon.
We were proud to return as a sponsor for the third consecutive year and were amazed (yet again) with the unique solutions for technology and travel. Who knew developers would create such incredible new travel app ideas?
Developers spent the weekend creating new and innovative solutions, and pitched their product ideas to the panel of judges for consideration. We challenged everyone at the start of the hackathon to show us something that Expedia hadn’t seen or thought of yet at. We were completely blown away with the quality and ingenuity of what the teams were able to create in less than 48 hours, and were left bursting with inspiration for ways we could extend Expedia’s APIs in the future.
While more than 30 teams used Expedia’s APIs in some way, three submissions really stood out for the ways they focused on the entire travel experience and pinpointed fresh, creative ways to improve upon it:
- Trippo. The inspiration behind this solution was finding travel destinations that have fun things to do based on your personality. The team built the app using the Expedia API and node.js, and utilized IBM Watson to derive personality profiles and match them with your perfect destination.
- OKLocate. This solution takes a favorite location and then searches for similar areas in a new city. The app shows hotels from Expedia, and users can filter and sort the results. Each result also has been assigned a score for similarity to the original neighborhood—specifically on food options (via Yelp), shopping, and culture.
- TripGenie. This car app uses AI and solves the problem of Android Auto’s limitation to use only Google for finding information. With TripGenie, a user driving in an unknown location has the ability to query all sorts of different variables relating to travel, as well as local verticals.
Expedia awarded more than US $5,000 in prizes to these teams. We had so much fun spending 48 hours of non-stop hacking (and a few sporadic naps) with this thriving community of enthusiasts. It inspired us to work with those who share our relentless curiosity and passion for solving problems and creating new and interesting applications. We can’t wait for next year!