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March 09, 2015

WorldMate Wearable Hackathon - Innovation in Every Interaction

On Feb 1, 2015 WorldMate held its first internal Hackathon in the topic of wearable watches.

First question that comes to mind is why? Why would a company stop what it’s doing for 24 hours, ignore its product roadmap to develop new prototypes?

The answer is that it’s not about getting to market faster—it's about steering the whole company around obstacles that might otherwise be unavoidable. Hackathons completely opens the door to creativity and forces everyone to get out of their comfort zone, work on new technologies, spread their creative wings, interact with colleagues and be involved in an end-to-end process. The team is given the time, resources, caffeine, even alcohol – everything it needs to get stuff done for a day.

"It's not always just about technology. It's about how you can work as a team, how you can solve problems and how you can work with shifting environments," says WorldMate’s CEO Amir Kirshenboim. "It’s giving the team that burning platform and that inspiration that they need to be a little bit more innovative."

Why wearables?

We decided to focus the hackathon theme around wearables, specifically watches like the Android Wear watches and the very anticipated, Apple Watch.

Wearables in Travel open limitless possibilities to enhance the traveler experience. The options are endless - it can show directions to your next meeting or hotel, present you boarding passes at check-in, provide gate and flight time updates, and more. It’s simply one of the most personalized and easiest ways to be informed while on your travels.

What’s next?

We were amazed at what the team came up with and at the end of the day; it came down to how big of a risk you wanted to take. Ultimately, we found the bigger risk we wanted to would likely be the bigger reward.

This hackathon has helped our company get familiar with new products and know how to work together better, and in the coming months we are planning to put some of these innovations to life.

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