DUBAI, 30th April, 2017 (WAM) -- Artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, Virtual Reality, bespoke services, and sentiment mapping were a few of the prototype solutions showcased as a result of the first Happiness Hack Dubai held at Dubai Airports in early February.
Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office, showcased the results to other government entities saying: "Happiness Hack Dubai is the first-ever happiness related hackathon to be held across the globe. It is a new platform to encourage international collaboration and innovation to introduce new city solutions, in line with vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai: to make Dubai the happiest city on earth." "The first edition of Happiness Hack Dubai focused on enhancing experiences in the travel sector. Once implemented city wide, the ideas presented will help enhance experiences for all visitors to Dubai, not only raising happiness levels but also attracting more tourists, boosting the economy, and increasing living standards across the city." "Events such as the Happiness Hack Dubai show the positive impact we can achieve for cities when we work together. Dubai is leading a new, people-centric approach to smart cities and industries that will establish itself as a benchmark for smart city implementation and design thinking for the world. Today the Smart Dubai Office is proud to present the results of the hard work and diligence of the 40 talented international experts and our very own 28 Happiness Champions who represented 23 different public and private sector entities," she said. Four teams worked together to design solutions to four challenges identified by sector leaders. The questions presented to the teams included, how can we show the world that Dubai is the city where you can see the future first, and attract a generation of innovative, future thinking minds? How can we turn moments, upon arrival, with dis-orientation, waiting and worry into an experience efficiency with undisrupted happiness? How do we create a tailored, seamless experience for visitors when they arrive at their hotel, providing them with the comforts of home without hassles or complications? And finally, how can we enhance experiences of emotional connections to travellers while balancing their need for safety, navigation, recommendation, and enable sharing of special moments? "The results of the first Happiness Hack Dubai have showcased four innovative solutions for making experiences in the travel sector more safe, seamless, efficient and impactful." Dr. Ali Al-Azzawi, City Experience Advisor, Smart Dubai Office, also said. "As part of our ongoing efforts to make Dubai the happiest city on Earth, we are now working with various different government and private sector entities from the travel sector to ensure these prototypes are developed into actual initiatives and converted into services available across the city," he added. Addressing the first challenge of attracting a generation of future thinking minds to Dubai, the ‘Ambassadors’ team developed a Virtual Reality platform called DubEye that enables prospective visitors and investors to experience Dubai before they arrive. The system allows investors to explore the city with potential investments in mind, so that they can feel more confident of their business plans, as well as showcase their products and services, in a "virtually tangible" way, and gain feedback from potential customers. This platform may be used by a variety of businesses including property vendors. First time travellers visiting Dubai usually have several questions on their mind. Public transport services, roaming rates or internet access information are a few of them. To avoid unnecessary worrying, team ‘Welcome’ has developed the architecture and working prototype of a system, that welcomes visitors at the airport with a personal phone call from an Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant, in the visitor’s native language, and an on-mobile chat screen that gives them timely information and advice, about what they need to know at that moment, beginning from queue lengths, luggage location, local sim card services, etc. To provide a seamless and hassle-free experience when arriving at a hotel, team ‘Guest’ developed the architecture and working prototype of a system, where travellers’ experiences may be personalised and set for them to ensure they feel at home. The system also has the option of using wearable technology to enable access and service payment within the hotel, while also giving the hotel staff ways of addressing their personalised needs when staying at the hotel, which takes place by collecting dynamic behavioural data. The final challenge was addressed by team ‘Experience’, where they developed ways of enhancing the emotional aspects of the travellers’ experience while in Dubai. The prototype created maps sentiment in the city based on social media analysis, as well as directly measuring city visitors’ biometrics. The system guides visitors around the city based on personal data and preferences, acting as the guide to give them maximum enjoyment of the city, as well as giving them an opportunity to take away a physical item based on their own actual experience while in Dubai.