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5 posts from March 2015

March 20, 2015

If A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words Then Streaming Video Must Be Worth 1.2 Million

First Meerkat App Stream From Helicopter Over New York City. (Photo credit: : Anthony Quintano/Flickr)

A new app came flying out of SxSW this year called Meerkat and instantly we saw a potential game changer for the travel industry. Not sure what Meerkat is? Well, if you’re still sifting through the buzz from SxSW, Meerkat is a free app that allows you to record video from your smartphone and stream it instantly on Twitter for your followers to watch. It allows people to tell any story they want or to share any experience they want, in real-time. 

For travelers, Meerkat could mean live broadcasting of you making it to the top of the Great Wall of China or trying squid for the first time in a foreign land. In this age of sharing, it’s going to be fun, and everyone is going to get very creative.

Meerkat could change the way we use Twitter. It isn’t inconceivable that those traditional 140-character tweets will gradually be replaced by live streaming and other videos. It is likely that long, well-produced videos will give way to serendipitous, funny “sharing” videos.

As with every social platform, big businesses will start to evaluate how they can use a tool like Meerkat to connect with potential customers. We’ve seen brands crack the Twitter code and slowly find creative uses for Snapchat and Instagram. Meerkat has the potential to be next.

For instance, if you are following Virgin Atlantic online you could see in real time what their new planes look like. Perhaps we’ll start to see some humorous promotional videos from companies like Avis. Maybe a hotel chain like EVEN Hotels will use Meerkat to give us a tour of what a wellness hotel provides. Through Meerkat, brands can partner with famous travel influencers – whether that’s Anthony Bourdain or Samantha Brown – by allowing people to live vicariously through them. Whatever the creative use is, Meerkat has the potential to connect brands with their customers and make them feel like they are part of the experience, unlike other social networking platforms where people often feel like they are watching from the outside looking in.

In the world of selfies and information overload, people are continuing to seek out better, more authentic ways to connect. At WorldMate, we believe that connecting is also a key to our success. One example is WorldMate enabling our customers to connect spontaneously through LinkedIn, giving business travelers the vantage point to see which of their colleagues are nearby.

We’re excited to see if the travel industry will adopt and use an app like Meerkat and we’re dreaming up potential ways we can add such advances to our products... stay tuned!

March 09, 2015

What Do You Need to Know Before Starting to Develop for Apple Watch?

During our first hackathon we decided to tackle the topic of wearable watches. The team divided into groups of 4 to develop prototypes for Android Wear or the highly anticipated Apple Watch using the first beta of WatchKit.

In today’s event, Apple is expected to finally shed some light over Apple Watch, its features, sensors, battery consumption and most importantly, the possibilities for 3rd party apps developers. We decided to give you a first look of what it is like to develop apps for Apple Watch before you start coding.


What Is a Watch App?

The mobile industry is built on engaging users by putting information that impacts their work, life and habits right when they need it. Wearables add a whole new layer to it, making everything accessible right from their wrist. The right Watch app should be focusing on the ability to seamlessly move from the watch to iPhone and back.


The Potential is amazing!

It is amazingly simple to add support for the Apple Watch as an extension of your main app. The transition is so intuitive it feels almost natural.

There are limitless options of what you can create based on what the Watch app can display and receive. A watch app can present actionable notifications and “Glances,” Apple’s quick-look feature meant to save time.

It is far easier to develop a watch app if you have iOS 8 Today Widget already in place as it uses the similar elements you used for developing the Widget.


What Can’t a Watch App Do?

The Apple Watch concept designed as an extension to the app, not the entire app crammed into your wrist. Heavy lifting features are left to the iPhone mobile app.

The WatchKit extension lives on the phone and contains all the watch app logic that controls what is displayed on the Watch and how the app responds to user input.

There are also some other battery-conserving limitations that need to be considered when building watch apps. Watch apps don’t have access to the watch hardware or sensors, including the heart rate monitor, audio, speaker or the vibrating engine.

We held out hackathon when only the first beta was out and only allow basic functionality. We believe as the Apple Watch become closer more abilities will be open in the future to developers to be ready to launch.


On your marks, get ready..

With the world counting down to the big launch, attention turns to the best Apple Watch apps that will make or break this landmark device. Join us to view today’s announcement.

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.

March 06, 2015

Around the World: Business Travel Tips for Women, from Women - Part 2

If you joined in on our last blog post, we offered business travel tips from women for women on planning and preparation, packing, safety, and health and wellness to ensure that your business travel experience goes smoothly. But preparing for the trip is just the first step. The whole experience will depend on how you actually make the most out of it while you’re at your destination. Here’s part two of our two-part blog series guiding women on the road to enhance the business travel experience. After all, it’s easy to stay in the comfort of your hotel room with all of the right amenities at the the tip of your fingertips

While your hotel might be the easy choice to hang out after hours, it’s likely not every day that you’re given the opportunity to explore outside of your desk, cubicle, or office. So whether it’s New York, Dallas, Portland or Los Angeles, here are some tips to help you master the local scene and meet new people, while maintaining your relationships at home.


Mastering the Local Scene

Mastering the Local Scene

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How can travelers blend in with the locals and find the hottest spots for food and drinks? Insert quotes from influencers on how savvy business women can avoid tourist traps.’s Samantha Shankman has an easy solution: talk to locals!

"I make it a point to take a few hours by myself and try to talk to as many locals as possible. This might just be the barista at a coffee shop, but gaining insights into a destination adds layers to what can otherwise be a strictly business endeavor."- Samantha Shankman, Reporter,


Maintaining Relationships

Maintaining Relationships

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One of the hardest parts of business travel is missing time with loved ones. However, from Skype/FaceTime to text messages, technology has made it much easier for people miles apart to connect. Here’s how you can make sure your business trips don’t turn into guilt trips.

"The best way to stay in touch with loved ones while traveling is through Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime. Gone are the days of long distance phone calls. Just by logging in to your hotel's wifi, you're able to chat with family and friends face-to-face. All you need to do is coordinate a time and the best way to do that is to check your time zone. Thankfully, there's an app for that too." – Rachelle Lucas,

"Email is great for sending observations and notes from a foreign destination back home and to several people at once. I’m also a huge fan of photos so either just texting a photo or using an app like SnapChat makes me feel like my loved ones are experiencing a new place with me." - Samantha Shankman, Reporter,


Meeting New People and Networking


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Dinner and drinks during business travel doesn’t have to be such a lonely affair anymore. Well-known travel personality Debra Corbeil also advises to do your research beforehand.

"I often look to see who will be at the conference or destination and make a connection through LinkedIn or email. Introduce yourself and plan a meeting in advance. It's a great way to break the ice and be one step ahead of the game. Since you've already talked through social media or email, you already have one connection that you can sit with at lunch or say hello to in the morning." - Debra Corbeil, The Planet D

In addition, Invite For A Bite is a safe service that allows women to meet with other women in a safe environment.

WorldMate has also made it easier for its customers to connect with colleagues while traveling. After opting in, WorldMate will notify you if someone in your social network is also in town.

Lastly, Redbubble’s Nancy Page had a few words of advice to increase productivity and ensure the best business travel experience for everyone.

"While scheduling your time in advance is key to making the most of your trip, and you'll find that time books up fast with meeting after meeting after meeting, make sure to schedule some 'free' time too. Use this time for impromptu chats, getting some fresh air or getting to your colleagues better. I find the most fruitful discussions and creative ideas come about in relaxed, unplanned, settings. Ditch the office for a bit and go for a walk, grab a coffee, or view some street art with your work buddies. You might be surprised just how many ideas and solutions come about, and at the very least you'll get to soak up some vitamin D." - Nancy Page, Artist Relationship Manager, Redbubble

Business travel can sometimes be a daunting or lonely, but with the tips above and WorldMate at your side, your next business trip can be a much more enjoyable experience. Download WorldMate for your iPhone or Android.

Interested in more tips? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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March 03, 2015

Around the World: Business Travel Tips for Women, from Women

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Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer, Arianna Huffington - these are just a few women executives leading the charge for some of the world's biggest businesses. As more women step into management and executive roles, so do the opportunities for business travel. While some of us have mastered the art, there are many more of us who are looking for tips to hone our skills on the road.

Traveling for business can be exciting. Not only does it offer a nice change of scenery, but it also gives you the opportunity to explore new places that you probably would not have had the chance to visit. However, after spending hours or days in meetings, it's also easy to get lost in the exhaustion of it all.

Today, we are sharing the first of our 2-part blog series featuring some of the best tips from women, specifically for women, on how to enhance the business travel experience.


Planning and Preparation

Planning and Preparation

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For some, planning and preparing for a trip can be daunting. Choosing the most cost-friendly and quality options for hotels and flights are no easy task.

Gina Stark from Gitana Blog offers, "Create an Excel sheet to track, manage and assure proper accrual of frequent flier miles and hotel credits, if you travel a lot”

"Use points programs whenever you can. Choose an airline and hotel chain and try to stay with it. Status can make a big difference when you travel frequently. You can get 1st class upgrades free upgrades to the premium rooms in my hotel. Every point counts. I can typically use my accrued points to pay for vacations!" - Mary Delaney, Technical Advisor




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The thought packing your life into a suitcase can be quite intimidating so WorldMate reached out to its community to learn tricks of the trade from other women.

"Pack clothes that don't need ironing. Fold shirts, skirts and sweaters in a normal way and then roll them up to prevent wrinkles. When you arrive at your destination, hang them up. Also, when travelling don't carry a large purse, use a small one that is worn with a strap under your clothes or worn under a jacket. All you need is ID, money, and ATM card. Travel light." – Karen Smith Willenberg, Government Administration Assistant

"If you're travelling through the UK/Europe the plastic bag you need to put your toiletries and make-up in is a lot smaller than they allow in the US - pack light or be prepared to throw items away at the airport. You can use a hairdryer to 'blow dry' the creases out of clothes if an iron isn't available." – Helen Ellis, WorldMate fan

"Never pack your carry on without makeup remover wipes, fuzzy socks, or sandals! Since I go standby a lot, you never know where you may end up throughout your trip, so you should be prepared for anything. Since I do wear glasses, I never rely on contact lenses for a flight. More often than not you'll end up sleeping anyway, and plus flights do strange things to your eyes (i.e. dryness, irritation)." – Katie Gidosh, WorldMate fan

"Try to fly in a day before or a day after, if possible. It's better to feel refreshed and ready to go, than rushed and grumpy. It will also give you some time to check out the area you are in and do a little sightseeing/relaxing." – Katka Lapelosova, Managing Editor, Matador Network

"Carryon and travel light. Any grooming or laundry you get done on the work trip is tax deductible. Order all of your own drinks and never let them leave your sight." – Tiffany McFarland, WorldMate fan




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Safety is an issue everywhere, especially if you’re traveling to somewhere unfamiliar. According to Kathleen Ameche, author of “The Woman Road Warrior,” 98% of women who have traveled for business have had their safety threatened. Here are some tips on how to make safety a priority while traveling.

"If you're traveling alone, make sure to have a system set up with someone you trust to let them know you are safe and doing well. For me, it's my mom. So I normally text her in the morning, afternoon and when I get back to where I am staying." – Jenna Richard, WorldMate fan

"Traveling to places like bars or clubs with a large group of co-workers is helpful, but really staying safe somewhere on business or vacation is the same -- be aware of your surroundings, the people you are with. Try to plan in advance how to get around, and which neighborhoods to avoid while there." – Katka Lapelosova, Managing Editor and Director of Social Media for Matador Network


Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

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A research report conducted by SRI International for the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) recently found that healthier travel of all breeds will grow nine percent annually through 2017. With that said, there are increasingly more accommodation options available for women who are looking to make health and wellness a priority while they are out traveling. But staying at a wellness hotel isn’t enough. Here are tips for women who are looking to eat right, maintain a fitness schedule, and/or prioritize their overall wellbeing.

“Try to pick a hotel with a kitchen so that you’re still in charge of your meals. If that's not possible, use Yelp to find what healthy restaurants the city you’re traveling to has to offer. Not only that, most hotels have gyms that can help you stay on track with your workout schedule!" - Norma Aviles, Corporate Manager

"Traveling for business sometimes means a busy and hectic schedule. Good planning and a strong commitment to your health will help you adhere to your fitness routine. Ten minutes is all you need to get the blood pumping and metabolism going. Exercise can help your business meetings become more successful and sustain your energy levels" - Tammy Stokes, CEO & Founder, West Coast Workout, Lifestyle Fitness Studios


Business travel provides you with the exciting opportunity to work creatively in an environment unparalleled by the hours you spend at your own desk. So from planning to packing and safety to health and wellness, women traveling for business can be well-prepared for their next adventure by following the tips above.

Join us for our next blog post which will focus on how you can enhance the travel experience while you are at your destination - whether that’s mastering the local scene or meeting new people. Give WorldMate a try for your iPhone or Android.

Interested in more tips? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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