Early in the morning of May 3, 2019, Techolution joined American Airlines for the kickoff of HackWars 6. One thousand plus participants from American Airlines’ talent pool, forming more than 100 teams to compete for 36 hours straight, supported by one of 30 invitation-only sponsors – each team competing for a chance to win, to collect mountains of loot & the glory of being recognized by American Airlines senior leadership.
And The Winner Is…
The winning team of Techolution’s IoT contest, Team Titan, was also the overall grand champion of HackWars 6. Team Titan used the IoT hardware & software components (built on Azure IoT) provided by Techolution, and some best-in-class mobile UX to create a ‘behavior driven’ mobile application that helps optimize shared assets such as passengers’ wheelchairs or airplane tow bars, in a high-traffic, high-logistics environment that is an airport terminal. The winning team was not only able to use IoT to connect all these dispersed assets into a single common portal, but they also made use of gamification to keep employees striving to make the best use of equipment and personnel.
This application will help American Airlines by:
- Significantly reducing flight delays caused by the unavailability of assets being shared across different airport gates.
- Providing a platform for identifying the real-time location of assets, with a reservation system and a reporting process to identify broken or missing equipment.
- Helping airport gate agents plan and perform well to improve their gate turn times.
Says Jason Troxel, “A plane on the ground isn’t earning money; even small delays create disruptions to the ballet that is complex air-transportation scheduling; this, in turn, impacts the financial bottom line of the airline and appears as increased costs to the customer. With Team Titan’s winning application, ground crew and flight crew will be able to pre-plan for flight arrivals, expedite turnaround times, and reduce flight delays.”
In addition to Team Titan, Techolution was awarded second and third place prizes in the IoT competition of HackWars 6, and several of the teams competing in the IoT space was recognized for other awards as well.
What is HackWars?
HackWars, one of the largest Hackathon gathering in the world within the aviation industry, is a 2-day event that challenges creators and programmers to design, code, and deliver a working prototype on “May The Fourth” – otherwise known as the unofficial StarWars holiday.
American Airlines’ sixth generation hackathon was Techolution’s inaugural participation, arriving as a partner with Microsoft’s Azure platform, to support and mentor the volunteers who came to identify the problems that customers face and build the solutions to overcome them. The environment at HackWars 6 was electric, where the theme on May the 4th created an atmosphere more eccentric than the Mos Eisley Cantina, with just as many characters in costume.
Leaders from Techolution including, Ravi Shastry (CTO, Chief of IoT), Tim Delesio (CTO), Jason Troxel (Director, Product & Innovation) and Hariharan Anantharaman (Senior IoT Architect), worked with Microsoft to create an IoT Infrastructure that participants could use in pursuit of their goals. In supporting the seven teams that signed up for Techolution’s sponsorship at Hackwars 6, Techolution also provided IoT hardware (sensors, monitors, LEDs, connectivity devices, toolkits, and Azure cloud platform resources) worth $250 to each team, in addition to Azure Cloud guides and relevant resources for the participants. The many IoT solutions crafted by the participants solved fundamental challenges that passengers, security and operations staff face at airports on a daily basis.
Out of the seven teams that Team Techolution mentored at the Hackwars 6 event, one team won the grand prize and four teams won awards in different categories. The hackathon was a great success for Techolution, American Airlines, Microsoft, and other partner companies that participated in the event. Team Techolution is grateful to have participated in Hackwars 6.