What springs to mind when you think about the glorious Swiss Alps? The old-school pleasures of stunning views and fresh mountain air, right? But even in this magnificent part of the world, there’s plenty of room for technology to enhance the proverbial landscape. As we’ve just discovered on the Pioneers Alpine Tourism Hack.
Ten startups descended on the world-famous town of St Moritz from 21-23 March, where they were charged with finding elegant, innovative technical advances for the tourism industry in the surrounding Südbunden region.
The hungry hackers, challenged with rapid prototyping and executing an idea in the space of 40 hours, had a choice of three main focus areas on which to work. These were Gamification & New Media, Data Analytics and Chatbots.
Black Cell came up with the winning solution in Gamification & New Media. Based on the idea of giving people an emotional tie to the target region, their ‘Engadin VR’ creation affords the user virtual, interactive, competitive experiences of the sports for which Engadin is know, as well as a life-like immersion in the Swiss scenery. This was then closely tied to a booking system that would offer users the chance to arrange the real thing.
Conquerors of Data Analytics were Mammoth DB, who developed an exciting new customer profiling tool. Making use of data from hotel partners, as well as from the mountain railways and GPS, they built a tool that lets businesses gain an understanding of who their customers are and what they really want.
Winner in the Chatbot category was Craftworks, about whose experience you can read in their own blog post here. Make sure you click on the video of their ‘My Digital Concierge’ solution – not only is it an impressive piece of work in a short time frame, but the music is guaranteed to brighten your day!
“Overall, Pioneers’ Alpine Hack was a great experience for us,” said Natalie Korotaeva of Craftworks. “We’re confident it was great for the other nine teams as well. As a startup, you should be an expert in fast-paced problem-solving. Thanks to all the participants, partners and the Pioneers team!”