From the moment that THack Berlin was first announced, DataArt had no doubts that this was a great opportunity to share our ideas and knowledge of the recent changes in the travel technology space.
Before arriving in Berlin, we spent several days polishing our initial concept. However, everything changed in the blink of an eye when a new idea for an app was suggested at the last moment.
It took less than 24 hours for the DataArt team to deliver a message-based, chat-like interface for researching and booking multiple trip components. The application works equally well in a browser or as a native iOS app. In a nutshell, the user interacts with a multitude of APIs via a machine interpreter, which translates the commands into supplier-specific protocols and provides results in a formatted output.
APIs used in the project include:
- Sabre. As an Authorized Sabre Developer, DataArt has extensive experience in developing Sabre Apps. For the hackathon, we performed price scraping for a specific city and location for 5* hotels only (which took 4+ hours just to scrape), linked the hotels with Foursquare for pricing and rating information, and stored that data in an intermediate database.
- Lufthansa/Vayant for flexible dates and minimum fare search.
- Lufthansa Fare Families for flight ancillaries. Our team developed a connector that pulls a list of ancillary products/prices for a specific flight.
- GetYourGuide for tours and activities. As a result, another connector was used, making it possible to generate a list of the most popular tours for a specific location and to query tours by keywords.
Key features of the app:
- Text-based search queries provide flexibility exceeding the standard OTA UI based on web controls.
- Chat sessions don’t expire, so the results remain available and can be reused.
- Search sessions can be started on one device (e.g. desktop) and be picked up and continued on another (e.g. iPhone).
The demo presentation was well received by the audience. The judges were impressed by the technological maturity of our project, and after consideration, chose DataArt as the winner of the large team prize. Moreover, event sponsor Lufthansa gave DataArt a second place award for the best use of their API
It was an unforgettable experience. The event offered an amazing opportunity to be in one room with many talented developers and travel technology leaders from all over the world.