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Asian innovators - what's next?

Published on  10 September by Ilya Gutlin , President, Asia Pacific, SITA
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Next month could be the start of something great for airline passengers. We already know that Asia leads the way when it comes to technology. We see airports and airlines in this part of the world continually looking to see how they can change their passengers’ experience and enhance their journey. And this often gives them an edge over competitors.

There are many reasons why we are seeing this happen in this region – population growth, age profile, tech-savvy travelers and, of course, changing economic conditions.

Here in Singapore, where I am based, innovation is ingrained in the culture and Singapore Airlines (SIA) is renowned as one of the leading innovators in the air transport industry. In October, SITA is joining our longstanding customer and supporting its SIA App Challenge, which plans to gather young minds together to get coding.

The technology challenge – or hackathon as the IT savvy call it! -  is based on the theme of ‘Your Travel, Your Way’. Real-world business challenges will be presented to stretch participants’ creativity. There is no doubt that these young minds will come up with some great ideas for developing digital applications suited for the modern tech-savvy traveler.

SITA is providing some APIs for the event including the Airport API, Flight Information API and Beacon API, which will enable coders to develop apps to provide personalized, location-targeted content to passengers. These are just a sample of the range of powerful APIs that are available to the air transport industry via our platform. SITA is giving participants the chance to use these APIs to access valuable airport data.

Some of our SITA Lab team will be there to support the students, sharing valuable insights from their research projects – remember our guys have had many industry firsts in various technological areas including iPad check-in, Google Glass and Apple Watches being used at airports and our Common-Use Beacon Registry. So, the students who are participating will get a chance to pick the brains of some of the best.

This will be an event to watch … a new generation who are living and breathing the tech-savvy culture, the ‘super users’ of mobile and other emerging technologies, providing us with new insights to open our minds to new travel conveniences. How all of us, as passengers, experience our journeys in the future might just be revealed next month in Singapore.

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