Hackathon at 35,000 Feet
A recent American Airlines flight from New York to San Francisco featured some unusual in-flight entertainment: four teams of developers showcased their ideas for technology that would improve the flying experience. The four were the finalists from among twenty-two teams that submitted ideas to the airline. The winning ideas included Furry Flyers, an app that works with a transmitter to track your pet's well-being during a flight; InFlight Social, an app that connects passengers to friends or friends of friends on the same flight or at the same airport; Proximity Signage, technology that would change airport signs with information tailored to the people standing in front of them; and UsTwo, an app which allows travelers to designate another person, such as a spouse, assistant or family member, who can track their progress throughout the trip.
The business-class and first-class passengers on the flight got to vote on their favorites, and UsTwo came away with the top prize.
Several other airlines, including British Airways and Lufthansa, have also been investing in innovation initiatives and seeking ideas for improved technology from mobile development firms.