Embark and CruiseWise finish as “highly commended” at THack @ SFO


Cruise information technology took two of the top six spots on September 20, 2012 at Tnooz’s THack @ SFO hackathon competition with Embark (company that the blog author is associated with) and CruiseWise being named as “highly commended”.  For those that aren’t embedded in the Silicon Valley technology world, “THack is Tnooz’s unique event which brings together travel industry APIs and the development community to brainstorm and create new digital travel products and web or mobile-based tools.”

The event kicked off in early September with a Tnooz webinar.  Participating computer programmers had two weeks to create a travel-related application (a.k.a. the hack) using one of the nine available APIs (Travelport, Amadeus, Add to Trip, Vayant, LocalGuiding, GeckoGo, Rezgo and Viator) in addition to any publicly available API.  The hack was judged on the following criteria:

  • Originality/innovation.
  • Quality of final “product”
  • Explanation of capability
  • Opportunity within an existing or new system
  • Fitness for purpose
  • Commercial viability/funding potential

Embark, a participant in the two developers and under group, introduced The Embark Challenge – where gamification was introduced to travel e-commerce. With The Embark Challenge, current Embark customers could win port tours and activities for as low as 10% of the retail price. More information can be found on Embark’s blog.

CruiseWise entered the competition as a group of three or more developers and introduced a new way to win a free cruise by renting out your home or apartment via AirBnB’s API.

Both hacks garnered rave reviews from their peers and observers at the THack presentation. Only time and customer demand will tell if either of the hacks are made publicly available.

You can reach Allan on Twitter (@EmbarkAt).  Allan is a guest blogger for Mikey’s Cruise Blog.

Information and image from Kevin May of Tnooz was used in this blog post.



Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.