Jul 25, 2019

Look back at Voice Travel Hackathon

Read a guest post by Martin Krček, Google Developer Expert

The Voice Assistant — a new user interface — is slowly coming to every device and every family, and we believe that one of the best uses for it is in the world of travel. However, the fundamental question is what type of voice applications we can create. To provide answers to this question, Google Developers Group and Voice Bot Academy organised the Voice Travel Hackathon on 14 June. Learn more about what we discovered.

The assignment was easy — in the next 24 hours, create a useful service or app for travellers using Google Voice Assistant and Kiwi.com. Altogether we had generated about 32 excellent ideas, of which eight were chosen by the hackers who then created eight teams, and started to hack.

The hackathon was open for everyone to attend. An educational aspect was also offered at the hackathon, with several presentations and workshops taking place in the evening. They were focused on Voice Assistants, on how to code a voice app using Actions on Google, on presenting Dialogflow, TypeScript, and Firebase.

The participants were also introduced to Kiwi.com’s Tequila, which is an online platform that allows anyone to access Kiwi.com’s content, technology, and services; as well as Google’s programme for startups — Grow with Google.

Gaining knowledge, using unique prototypes

The hackathon was not a competition. It was focused on gaining knowledge and using unique and functional prototypes. Thanks to that, the whole event was very interactive and cooperative.

Every four hours we had a review section, where every team presented their ideas, achievements, and problems. Then, we had discussions where everyone could share their knowledge to help move the project forward. Another option was starting a micro-workshop covering this topic — for example, how to use localisation services, or Firebase and Firestore databases.

“We all were like one team, not like competitors. Learning one from the other,” said Petr, one of the attendees.

As a midnight refreshment (at two in the morning), around 16 people decided to go for a 10-minute walk around the offices, and six of us went for a three-kilometre run, just for fun. The results? Recharged energy, fresh minds, and shared memories.

Engaging people at the airport

Time was running like crazy during those 24 hours. On Saturday at 18:00, everyone stopped coding, and we got to know the final versions of the eight prototypes of voice applications. The teams presented their apps on Google Assistant running either on their mobile phone, Google Home Mini, or PC.

Even though it was not a competition, we chose the winning project. Its name was Transfer Trip Advisor, and it engages you while waiting for a connecting flight.

Imagine that you have to wait for several hours in an unknown city. You can wait for the next flight, or ask the Voice Assistant for local trip suggestions. The suggestions would be based on your interests and preferences, and characteristics like your age, or family size. You can scroll further to have a look at the complete list of projects.

What next?

We are starting Voice Garage as a part of our activity, Voice Bot Academy. And I hope we will do another hackathon soon. Learn more here.

Martin Krček, Google Developer Expert

Do you want Kiwi.com to support your event? Drop us a line at [email protected], briefly describe your event and let us know how we can help.

Hacking Voice projects & prototypes

Transfer Trip Advisor — “Winning Team”

You have several hours in an unknown city. You can wait for the next flight, or ask the Voice Assistant for local trip suggestions. The suggestions would be based on your interests and preferences, and characteristics like your age, or family size.

Cheap flying by interest

What’s your plan for the weekend? Surf, romantic walks, marathon or to see the most famous European cathedral? Talk to voice app, and get the cheapest flights to your dream destination.

Interactive Voice Guide

Whether you go to a museum, city, castle or even to a new office, let the Voice Assistant guide you. Who painted the picture, how old it this building, where is a coffee machine.

What do I see

You are driving, and you want to know what you can see on the right. Just ask Google Assistant, and get information about the castle, city or church… which is on the left.

Vocabulary for vacation

Do you remember those tedious 12 hours in your car travelling to Croatia? Instead, ask Voice Assistant, and it will teach you basic conversation skills for your holiday.

Travel Packer

Before every trip, you think of what to pack (socks, trousers, toothpaste, towels, etc), and how much. This app asks you several questions and immediately creates your personalised checklist.

Voice Travel Trivia

Something for fun and educational. Imagine you are Sherlock Holmes, and you are on the trail of a criminal. You are flying around the world and will have data from airports, directly from Kiwi.com API.

Voice Healthcare

How to treat a Jellyfish Sting? You don’t want to waste your time by clicking and reading false information on your mobile. Ask for help on your Voice Assistant app, or send your location to your friends or doctor.

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