Monday, February 10, 2014

Gesture-based Flight Board with Voice and Face Recognition by Interknowlogy

There have been many great advances in digital signage technology finding their way into airports, hotel lobbies, convention centers and other travel hubs.  Here's a new take on a flight board from the folks at Interknowlogy.

Their NUI (natural user interface) Flights system lets users scroll through flights using hand gestures to find their flight.  It also features voice recognition allowing users to speak their airline and flight number.  NUI Flights then finds that flight and shows the detailed status.  A third method uses facial recognition to support a use case in which a user opts in to let the system recognize one's face and lookup the relevant flight information for display without any other interaction.

The app is powered by FlightStats FIDS API, of course, and will be featured at the upcoming Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas Sands Hotel Expo Center on February 12-13, 2014.

Here's a link to a couple of video demos of NUI Flights available for download on HighTail.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Leading Global Airline Uses FlightStats Japanese/English API in Mobile/Web Apps

ANA Mobile Application Image
ANA (All Nippon Airways) is a leading Japanese provider of air transportation services and is one of the world’s largest airlines, serving 128 domestic Japanese routes with 912 daily flights and 34 international and regional routes to 10 countries in Asia, Europe and North America. ANA is consistently at the top in on-time performance and has been recognized as a winner or a finalist by FlightStats On-time Performance Awards in various categories since the program’s inception in 2009.

THE CHALLENGE

As a leading airline in Japan, ANA is continually striving to find innovative ways to provide the best customer service experience for its customers. In this case, ANA sought a powerful solution for making flight status information by route, and by flight, available to their customers via their mobile application ANA GLOBAL, as well as via their website. With ANA’s commitment to customer experience, it was important that the user experience be seamless to customers, and that the flight information available also include codeshare information. Codeshare information is typically quite difficult to integrate into a solution for independent entities because it requires the gathering, implementation, and management of multiple data sources.
“FlightStats data has made it possible to provide our customers with the latest flight status information, for both operating and marketing carrier customers. And since the data has been translated into Japanese, it was quick and easy to implement without having to do the translations ourselves. This data has received high marks from our users.” - Hiroyuki Yoshida, All Nippon Airways

THE SOLUTION

ANA is using FlightStats Flex APIs to get the real-time global flight status information by route and by flight. With the option to have API responses delivered in multiple languages, ANA was able to quickly and easily provide the information in both Japanese and English for customers to choose. The breadth of FlightStats global coverage, including codeshare data, gives ANA the power easily give customers the ability to quickly find data about their flight. ANA is able to offer an enhanced travel experience to their customer but does not have to manage multiple data sources. Using FlightStats’ data shortened ANA’s development time because FlightStats has packaged its flight information and made it available via RESTful APIs that are flexible, easy-to-use, and easy-to-implement in mobile and web applications. For more information regarding this and other FlightStats data solutions please contact a FlightStats representative.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

FlightStats API used in upcoming THack San Francisco coming September 19th.

Tnooz brings developers and travel brands together at the upcoming THack San Francisco on September 19th.  The hack will feature two tracks: products (coded hack) and conceptual (concept hack). FlightStats APIs are among the nine featured in the hackathon.


  • Coded Hack - developers have ten days to pull together a hack for the showcase. Developers will have three specific travel problems (noted below) to solve. Potential prize: $2,000.
  • Concept Hack - developers and others can pitch an idea for a new multi-API hack. Potential prize: $1,000.

Problems to be solved:
  1. Breakaway or stayaway - create a service to give a traveller options for a three-day break anywhere from San Francisco by air or visiting a tourist spot within California.
  2. Friend on the road - using mobile as the interface, develop a service to assist users on the days they travel from A to B.
  3. Inspire me! - images, videos, tips and more, showcase what California has to offer the tourist and how they might get there.
  4. The ultimate hack - use every API on offer and see what comes out the other side!
Developers interested in participating should contact Tnooz edtor Kevin May to confirm participation. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

GE FlightQuest 2 - Enter today and optimize flight!



Do you have what it takes to change the future of flight? 
Airlines are constantly looking for ways to make flights more efficient? From gate conflicts to operational challenges to air traffic management, the dynamics of a flight can change quickly and lead to costly delays.
Commercial airlines spend 22 billion dollars a year on managing flight plan efficiency.

There is good news. Advancements in real-time big data analysis are changing the course of flight management, as we know it. Imagine if the pilot could augment their decision-making process with “real time business intelligence,” —information available in the cockpit that would allow them to adjust and improve their flight patterns.

On the heels of GE's FlightQuest 1, where the winning team's algorithm managed to improve the prediction of estimated flight times by 40% over the standard industry benchmarks, GE seeks again to build upon those high reaching results. The winning predictive algorithms from the first phase will be used to create a simulation in the second phase of the Quest with the ultimate goal of GE developing an onboard flight management application.

The second phase of Flight Quest is a challenge to recommend the best flight strategy for flights already in the air - recommending the best route to reduce cost, avoid bad weather, and get to destinations on time. Better decisions in flight mean passengers can plan their days better, ground crews have less wait time, and flights consume less fuel.

The competition will feature comprehensive flight status information, positional, and airport weather data from FlightStats for data scientists to leverage in their quest to optimize flight planning efficiency.

"FlightStats is delighted to be a data partner with GE's FlightQuest2 competition. Technology advancements that optimize flight operations will contribute to airlines’ overall success and will greatly benefit the entire aviation ecosystem," said FlightStats CEO, Tod Hutchinson." 
Watch the video to learn more about the competition powered by Kaggle or visit GE's FlightQuest 2 site to get started. GE has committed a prize pool of $250,000 winners of Phase 2.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

3scale interviews David White about Flightstats APIs



Picture of David White, Chief Customer Officer at FlightStats


Interview with David White, FlightStats Chief Customer Officer. In this role, David works with key customers, content providers, and channel partners, and insures all are properly represented in product and development plans.


Introduction

APIs are a key infrastructure component for online businesses – powering mobile applications, partnership programs and innovation. Increasingly, as many businesses become more software driven, having a well-managed API available to customers and partners is becoming key to success in the marketplace. That is why FlightStats chose 3scale as its API platform enabling FlightStats to securely open, control, manage, operate and monetize APIs to 3rd parties (e.g. developers, business partners, etc).

APIs have been a core part of our business since 2003. We’ve built FlightStats around providing day-of-travel data and services to the travel industry. APIs are the primary delivery mechanism. - David White 


Q.  Tell us more about FlightStats APIs

A. FlightStats aggregates data from many sources to provide the most complete global coverage of commercial airline flight information. With FlightStats® Flex APIs you slice and dice the data the way you want. The APIs are powerful, precise and concise. They are designed for ease of use with REST, supporting JSON, JSONP, XML formats as well as SOAP. FlightStats® Flex APIs can receive replies to their API requests in English, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, German, and French.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monetizing Mobile Applications

Michael Jurewitz posted an excellent series on app store economics and strategies for making money from mobile applications on his blog at http://jury.me/blog/2013/3/31/understanding-app-store-pricing-part-1

The five-part series covers everything from price elasticity to analysis on the kinds of apps for which people will pay good money.  If you want to generate more income from your mobile efforts, be sure to read Michael's posts.

You can find them here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

When is a Cancelled Flight Not a Cancelled Flight

The term "cancelled" has a certain finality about it.  If the lead singer in a band loses her voice, the show is cancelled.  Once a check has been cashed, the bank cancels it so it can never be used again.  When a visa is cancelled, it's worthless and will never get you into the issuing country.

When a flight is cancelled, it's final, right? Not necessarily.  A cancelled flight can be reinstated if the airline can solve the problem that caused the cancellation - put together a crew or substitute new equipment for a plane with mechanical issues.  This doesn't happen often.  But it does happen  more often than you might think, especially during irregular operations due to weather or system-wide issues.

The worst case scenario for passengers is that they will see the flight status marked cancelled or receive a cancellation alert, not go to the airport, then find out later that the flight actually did depart without them.  Policies vary airline to airline.  But a passenger's rights are usually severely restricted in that event. They may be considered a no-show.  So when you display fight status information in your app or website or use our system to send alerts, make sure that you encourage passengers on cancelled flights to either go to the airport anyway or, at the very least, contact the airline to find out what they should do next.