APIs for Airports: Good News for Travelers

With Thanksgiving coming soon, airports are about to witness one of the busiest travel times of the year. San Francisco International Airport (SFO), for instance, expects to handle 1.3 million passengers during this week alone.* SFO is also one of the pioneering airports that’s offering APIs and forming a dialogue with third-party developers. The objective? Create a “Connected Airport” and improve the travel experience for the millions passing through.

 

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To achieve this goal, SFO, in partnership with Wearable World, is hosting a series of developer challenges to help address traveler pain points. The two-part series started last week, November 18, 2014, at Say Media in San Francisco. Our team had a terrific opportunity to demonstrate Concur APIs and work with developers on crafting new ideas and solutions for the business traveler.

The event was kicked off by none other than Robert Scoble, tech industry expert and author of the book, “Age of Context.”

API presenters, including Concur, explained how developers can use their API to create a "Connected Airport." This was followed by a hearty lunch; then it was coding time.

The next day, we were back at Say Media to mentor and assist developer teams with their app concepts and ensure they submitted on time. Each developer team had a few minutes to demonstrate their work in front of the judges from WearableWorld, SFO, American Airlines and the San Francisco Mayor's Office. Here's a demo of ShuttleBeacon, which won the grand prize at the event.

 

 

ShuttleBeacon lets travelers book all forms of transportation—car, bus, van rideshare—from one mobile app that integrates with Concur.

 

 

Untitled3Other apps demo’d? A smartwatch app that shows travel information with a flick of the wrist; an app for finding airport activities during layovers; and a solution for locating last-minute must-haves, like a recharger. Check out all five teams that demo’d apps with Concur API integrations on our Twitter feed.

 

 

We had a blast working with developer teams at the “Connect Airport” event. Thanks to the Wearable World team and the San Francisco International Airport Communications and Marketing team for hosting the hackathon, and getting Concur involved. And congratulations to ShuttleBeacon, the Round 1 winners. We’re looking forward to Round 2, on December 17, 2014.

 

*Source: San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 21, 2014  

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