Emirates taps into the future at Carnegie Mellon University
Varsity students propose ideas from augmented and mixed reality to roving agents
Dubai, UAE, 25 February 2020: It was a marathon of a different kind – young, bright and futuristic minds at Carnegie Mellon University worked with intent over a 24-hour period to present 10 extraordinary ideas to Emirates – the lead sponsor of the varsity hackathon.
The Emirates Group and Carnegie Mellon University, based in the US, have a history of partnering around various initiatives, including trialling drones for inventory tracking.
As part of its internal business innovation initiative, Emirates sponsored two key business challenges to the students at TartanHacks, the university’s biggest hackathon. TartanHacks attracts the best minds, and this year 400 students congregated to take a crack at the challenges.
The sponsored challenges
Enhance the Emirates Skywards member experience through more seamless, personal ways at Dubai International airport. The winning team presented an app that can recognise members, their membership tiers and location in the airport in order to assign them roving service agents. The team won flight tickets to Dubai and hotel stays, and an opportunity to present their winning idea to Emirates’ Commercial executives.
Create an immersive experience by leveraging technology to engage Emirates’ customers with the airline’s products and solutions. The winning team presented a 3D mixed reality tour of Emirates’ A380, giving the sales team a product showcase that sits on multiple devices and can be tailored around customer preferences. The team won gift hampers and special A380 model aircraft.
Badr Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial – Africa, who opened the hackathon and presented Emirates’ challenges said: “Emirates’ internal initiatives focus on introducing new, impactful solutions and technology to solve business problems – and who better to partner with than Carnegie Mellon University? TartanHacks is a great platform to crowdsource ideas from the best academic minds. We were also keen to stretch the students’ thinking and their innovative spirit, and ensure they learned more about the airline industry. We will now explore ways to apply these ideas in our everyday business environment to continue to deliver amazing customer experiences every single day.”
Dr Stuart Evans, Distinguished Service Professor and Director Emirates-CMU i-Lab at Carnegie Mellon University said: “Leveraging diversity through cross-pollination is a key success ingredient in driving innovation. TartanHacks brought our undergraduates to focus on a number of key challenges facing Emirates’ Commercial team, and our students leveraged their fresh eyes to come up with a number of creative solutions.”
Emirates is the world’s largest international airline with a global network of 158 destinations in 84 countries across six continents. Emirates operates 271 modern aircraft and is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s. Luxurious amenities, regionally inspired gourmet cuisine, an award-winning inflight entertainment system – ice – and unmatched hospitality provided by its iconic multilingual cabin crew from over 135 nationalities have made Emirates one of the world’s most recognised airline brands.
About Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
A private, global research university based in the United States, CMU stands among the world's most renowned educational institutions. With cutting-edge brain science, path-breaking performances, innovative start-ups, driverless cars, big data, big ambitions, Nobel and Turing prizes, hands-on learning, and a whole lot of robots, CMU doesn't imagine the future, they create it. The Integrated Innovation Institute at CMU breaks down the silos that impede innovation. CMU believes that by uniting the disciplines of engineering, design, and business, they can build impactful solutions that create value for real people.
Sheba Koonan, Emirates Public Relations, email@example.com