Emirates Airlines, as part of its internal business innovation initiative, sponsored two key business challenges proposed to the undergraduate students of a US-based university at a hackathon- a programming contest in which students collaborate to create solutions for a specific problem within a defined time frame.
The airline was the lead sponsor at TartanHacks, a hackathon event held annually at Carnegie Mellon University.
Young, bright and futuristic minds at the university worked with intent over a 24-hour period to present 10 extraordinary ideas to Emirates, said a media release.
One of the sponsored challenges was enhancing the Emirates Skywards member experience through more seamless, personal ways at Dubai International airport.
The winning team presented an app that can recognise members, their membership tiers and location in the airport in order to assign them roving service agents.
The team won flight tickets to Dubai and hotel stays, and an opportunity to present their winning idea to Emirates’ Commercial executives, the release added.
Another challenge was creating an immersive experience by leveraging technology to engage Emirates’ customers with the airline’s products and solutions.
The winning team of this challenge presented a 3D mixed reality tour of Emirates’ A380, giving the sales team a product showcase that sits on multiple devices and can be tailored around customer preferences.
The team won gift hampers and special A380 model aircraft.
Badr Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial – Africa, who opened the hackathon and presented Emirates’ challenges said: “TartanHacks is a great platform to crowd source ideas from the best academic minds. We were also keen to stretch the students’ thinking and their innovative spirit, and ensure they learned more about the airline industry. We will now explore ways to apply these ideas in our everyday business environment to continue to deliver amazing customer experiences every single day.”