Travel Hackathon

This Global Hackathon Plans to Enhance Travel with Voice

Developers and programmers from around the world will take part in the first community-driven Global Voice & Travel Hackathon during the weekend of Sept. 27. More than 50 groups from dozens of cities will all come together to design and build Google Assistant Actions to make travel better, easier, and more fun.

Hacking Travel with Google Assistant

Google Developer Expert Martin Krcek organized the upcoming hackathon in the wake of a successful hackathon in June. Hosted in partnership with Kiwi.con in the Czech city of Brno, the hackathon generated a lot of interesting ideas and prototypes for Google Assistant Actions related to travel. The positive response was enough for Kiwi and Krcek to decide to put together another one.

During the three-day hackathon, teams will work to build Google Assistant Actions for travel. The emphasis on Google is largely because of Krcek’s expertise and connections there.

“Google likes the hackathon because it is connecting communities and experts,” Krcek told Voicebot in an interview. “But it’s not about huge prizes. It is about fun and voice experiments.”

Although Krcek teamed up with again to help put it together, the various meetups are very much a bottom-up creation, he explained. Every hackathon meetup, around 10 to 50 people each, will have local judges who may award local prizes. The top 10 winners overall will each receive a €500 vouchers for Kiwi’s services as well as see their projects promoted on Google’s social channels.

“Anyone can organize an event in their city. It doesn’t have to be all three days, it can just be an afternoon,” Krcek said. “There’s a lot of opportunity for travel in voice when teams work together.”

A Voice for Travel

The event is happening, appropriately enough, during World Tourism Day. The hackathon in June churned out several potentially useful voice skills for Google Assistant. A conversational language tutor, an augmented reality tour guide, a packing assistant, and a travel health advisor were among the ideas turned into voice apps. The winner was the Transfer Trip Advisor, which offers tailored ideas for things to do in a foreign city based on individual preferences details such as age or family members with you.

“Voice can do so much to improve [travel]. I think it hasn’t been looked at enough,” Krcek said. “You can make faster connections to buy a ticket to do something depending on interests like going skiing or seeing a favorite football team or you can make a travel guide. There’s a mix of everything.”

You can find out about nearby events for the hackathon, or sign up to host one, at the Voice Hackathon website.