One of the things I religiously do on a Friday is spend some time randomly grazing Flipboard, and the internet for anything that sparks my interest in a different and creative way. This week at night I have been working on some of my MFA material for school, and perhaps I was influenced by the Advertising slant, or maybe the Chatter REST API webinar I'm presenting next week, (don't forget to sign up as we are going to use an awesome tool to demo REST API calls which, by itself, is worth attending the webinar for!) but I am convinced that the best solutions are where multiple forms come together. More often than not when technology is involved, APIs are king!
With the Summer of APIs webinar series kicking off with next weeks webinar I wanted to highlight two creative examples where APIs can make game changing solutions.
Nike is well known for their creative marketing and advertising, and Nike+, which has been around for a few years now, continues to be incredibly popular? Aside from the obvious benefits of a low cost alternative to GPS watches, to allow runners to track distance, the Nike+ plus system is a great example of where APIs make a game changing app. One of the great features of Nike+ is integrating with their online community to track, share, compare, and scare others into motivation. And, of course, why not share across clouds with your friends on Facebook.
Speaking of Facebook, and if you didn't get the theme, I'm a runner. Not surprisingly one of the pages I 'Like' on Facebook is Tough Mudder. Tough Mudder, "Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet." posted a Facebook status this morning indicating that in one of their up and coming races, competitors will be wearing radio frequency anklets that post their progress directly onto Facebook. And guess how it is done? APIs of course!
With Dreamforce only about nine weeks ago (don't forget about the special Developer pricing), this also means the Developer Hackathon is almost upon us. After soaking in the new APIs we will be covering during the Summer of APIs, it would be great to see some equally creative solutions using the Force.com APIs, and more. Stay tuned for more details on the hackathon requirements, but it would be great to see the community build some really game changing apps we can highlight during the Developer sessions at Dreamforce.
Nike+ enriched the whole experience of running by combining hardware and software with APIs, imagine if someone with some electrical engineering abilities modied a motion sensor light, like many meeting rooms have these days, to read a signal from someones cellphone and checked them into Chatter using the Chatter API to update their user status? The precident is there, just look at Mike Leach's winning Chatterbot entry from the Chatter hackathon at Cloudforce 2010 San Jose.