ZUG, SWITZERLAND – Winding Tree, an open-source blockchain-based travel distribution platform, is announcing the successful completion of its first Hackathon, which took place from October 24-25 in Prague. The Hackathon, which was the first of its kind, brought together various airlines, travel companies, and blockchain developers coding solutions collaboratively for the industry in Winding Tree’s open source environment.
One of the most unprecedented features of the event was that fact that major airlines coded alongside travel startups, where input from both had the same weight and value. It was the first time that major airlines, travel industry developers, and startups coded solutions together in the spirit of open innovation. Everyone contributed to each other’s hacks with code, industry expertise, feedback, and fresh perspectives. There were twelve hacking teams in total, with 66 hackers contributing to this new open source travel ecosystem.
The winning developers from the Hackathon included:
- Emergency Shelter – A smart contract that allows people to offer their homes as emergency shelters in the times of a catastrophe or natural disaster, all entirely built on Winding Tree
- Siesta – PMS integration – A fully functional hack to integrate Winding Tree into a hotel PMS
- Air France-KLM – A fully functional flight search with actual UI using multiple APIs and the core of Winding Tree
The travel industry is infamous for being extremely competitive, which means that the industry is closed off to collaboration, siloed, and protected from within. Conventionally, the travel industry has seen few collaborative projects, as there is no incentive to create code that will benefit competitors. Many travel startups do not survive past a few years, as the costs of getting access to data are putting them out of business.
The success of the Winding Tree Hackathon shows not only how an open sourced platform will benefit the entire travel ecosystem, but also how it can lead to stronger and smarter developments in the space. For example, the open source nature speeds up the process of building software, as there are more eyes capable of spotting and fixing bugs on the fly. Data standards are immediately accessible and usable, with no permission required by existing industry monopolies. Everyone, from a hotel chain to an airline, or even two guys building the next big booking app from their garage, can jump into code and standards created on the Winding Tree platform, without restricted access, corporate bureaucratic procedures, or a centralized power controlling access to data.
“The Winding Tree team could not be happier with the outcome of our first Hackathon,” said Pedro Anderson COO and Founder of Winding Tree, “It was amazing to see various airlines participating and sending their development teams to the Hackathon in order to promote bottom up innovation. The teams went way beyond any ideas we initially put on the table, and came up with many well thought problems to solve that we didn’t think of. If that doesn’t show the benefit of open collaboration and building an open source software solution for the travel industry, then I don’t know what does!”
“I think that the bigger the Winding Tree ecosystem is going to be, the more benefit we’re going to get from the airlines, but also from other actors in the industry,” said Iris Taguet, Head of Blockchain Program for Air France – KLM, “I believe that the cooperation and exchange between the actors, between airlines facing different problems and having different views, different opinions on the problem – that’s what we call collective intelligence and that’s how we’re going to achieve the most.”
“The Winding tree platform is really looking to tap into something unique: The world is full of small and large service providers who are looking for a way to tap their product and services into a global market in a frictionless, feeless, way,” said Dennison Bertram, Lead of the Hack team for Emergency Shelter. “In the future I can imagine WindingTree running series of Sidechains bundling all of travel traffic on the same, open, network. It seems like the natural evolution of the travel industry. I can’t wait to see it grow, and to see how we can also repurpose the structure to make a greater social impact.”
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a transparent, secure information storage and transmission technology that operates without a central control body. This system makes it possible to carry out transactions between two parties, via a transparent and unforgeable IT directory, by removing third parties, replaced by computers scattered throughout the world that save and validate transactions. The most well-known application case is the exchange of financial flows, including the crypto currency bitcoin. But the uses go much further, particularly in the fields of product traceability and automated contract execution.