Image: Still from App in the Air YouTube video

APEX Insight: The team behind ARvis, which took home the first-place corporate prize at IATA’s Silicon Valley Hackathon in late August, was at IATA WPS last week to present its augmented reality travel shopping solution.

On the final day of last week’s IATA World Passenger Symposium in Barcelona, innovation took centre stage. The half-day program was dedicated to educating delegates about IATA’s ongoing efforts to improve airline retailing and passenger experience by engaging with designers, marketers and the global developer community.

A key part of this effort to foster innovation in airline retail and distribution has been the organization of a series of NDC hackathons in various tech-centric cities around the world, each attended by hundreds of bright young minds looking to secure industry partners and funding for their ideas.

After a presentation from Yanik Hoyes, IATA’s NDC Program Director, victors from IATA’s three 2017 NDC hackathons (Dublin, Paris and Silicon Valley) took the stage to demonstrate the winning solutions they built using a variety of NDC and travel APIs.

One solution that really stood out in Barcelona was ARvis, presented by developers from App in the Air, an existing personal flight assistant app that’s already very popular with travelers. ARvis in an augmented reality (AR) travel shopping solution that features voice-activated flight comparison and selection, visualized on a virtual globe. It also displays life-sized 3D seat maps to help passengers compare legroom and encourage cabin class upgrades by showing them the difference in space and seat comfort. Additionally, the solution features a mechanism to check baggage size allowances, using the passenger’s actual carry-on luggage and an AR representation of the correct bag size, with payment capabilities incorporated.

ARvis was developed in just a few intensive days by team members Sergei Pronin, Dmitry Gridnev, Timur Akhmetgareev and Alexey Mileev; using APIs from Routehappy, SITA, American Airlines, IATA One Order and their own existing application, App in the Air. The exciting solution took home the first-place corporate prize at IATA’s Silicon Valley Hackathon in late August, competing against teams from other notable corporations such as Sabre Labs, Datalex and LATAM.