The latest news on the API economy
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Tired of physical signatures interrupting your document workflows? HelloSign released the HelloSign API that allows developers to integrate eSignatures into websites, apps, or company processes. HelloSign's creators were first bothered by paper's inefficiency and wastefulness, and the irritation led to HelloFax.
Clean Power Estimator is an online interactive tool that gives users a quick, high-level preview of the benefits they can achieve by installing a PV or solar thermal system. Businesses in this field can use this tool to sell the benefits of solar power to their website visitors, encouraging them to make contact and learn more. The Clean Power Estimator API makes this possible as it is available to be integrated into third party software applications.
Payleven, the Square equivalent for the world outside of the US, has launched an API to complement its mobile payment device. Prior to the API, use of Payleven's mobile payment device required downloading the Payleven app (similar to Square's current model). However, the API allows developers to integrate Payleven's functionality within third party apps.
The Climate Counts API provides access to data from the Climate Counts Company Scorecard, an annual report which uses 22 criteria to rank companies’ self-reported efforts to address climate change.
In January, OnStar announced an API would allow third party developers to integrate their applications with OnStar's platform. Last week, General Motors announced its first partner for API integration: RelayRides. RelayRides is "[t]he world's largest peer to peer carsharing marketplace." The partnership with GM allows OnStar users to leave their keys in their cars when renting a car to a fellow RelayRider. The renter can then unlock the car with a smartphone app or by responding to a text message.
Genability was founded in 2010 with a simple goal: "to empower consumers and producers to choose cleaner, cheaper power." To reach its goal, Genability created and utilizes tools to gain insight into electricity usage. Genability now looks to focus its tools specifically at solar energy after becoming a SunShot Awardee. The Department of Energy (DOE)'s SunShot Initiative "aims to drive solar to cost-competition with other energy sources by 2020." The $500,000 award allows Genability to develop the Genability API as well as "Data tools to instantly and accurately calculate and optimize the savings of implementing solar PV."
Having an infant in the house combined with the winter weather has caused energy usage in our household to skyrocket. We are always keeping an eye out for ways to save and ProgrammableWeb lists great tools to help out. This week we'll look at mashups that help users monitor their energy consumption, become educated on energy and encourage them to reduce how much energy they are using.
Some tasks in life are so boring that they could never be fun, just don’t tell GreenGoose that. GreenGoose is a real life “gamification” company, using small sensors and accelerometers on stickers to track everyday behavior. The company will eventually sell sensors designed to track anything from how often you drink from a water bottle, to how far you can throw a Frisbee. An online account then uses the data collected from these sensors to calculate how often you perform these tasks. The idea is that this would add some fun to your life while helping you stay on top of chores like feeding your dog. The GreenGoose API allows you to pull data from the sensors into any custom application.
Hackathons have been a staple in Silicon Valley tech culture for quite some time, but recently we have seen seeing hackathons evolve outside of the valley -- from Los Angeles to Prague. The format of the Hackathon is pretty straightforward: You bring together a group of developers in a room, give them a topic to code around, then they break into teams and begin hacking for usually from 24-72 hours. On the final day, theypresent what they’ve built. Winners usually go home with cash, prizes, and of course notoriety.
OpenChargeMap is a neat little service designed to help those with electric cars find places to charge up. With gas prices going the way they are, electrics are becoming a trendy alternative, and with the new Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf offering good choices for the average consumer, more and more people are going electric. If you're one of those, however, there's always a hitch: finding a place to "fill up". Now you're covered and with the OpenChargeMap API you can integrate the service into other things.
It seems that the API cleaning has not yet ended at Google. Awhile back, Google announced its decision to shut down its popular translation API, a decision that did not go down favourably with the users. Now Google Health API has been given a negative prognosis and Google PowerMeter API will soon run out of juice.
GoodGuide is a service that we have been using as a family for a while. It attempts to analyze a product holistically & scientifically to produce a simple 1 to 10 rating of its "goodness." I am personally satisfied to see that the GoodGuide API will share this data with the world.
Onset, a supplier of data logging devices, just launched the HOBOlink® Web Services API, that enables anyone to easily build applications around weather, energy and environmental data gathered from the Onset HOBO® U30 monitoring systems, hardware you install in your environment which can share its status up to Onset's system.
GoodGuide is a service that we have been using as a family for a while. It attempts to analyze a product holistically to produce a simple 1 to 10 rating of its 'goodness.' I am personally satisfied to see that the GoodGuide API will share this data with the world. Many consumers would love to choose products based on their total “goodness” but how can you possibly investigate all the companies and products that are out there?
Athletic shoe and apparel giant Nike recently announced that it is looking for a fellow to help ignite an open data revolution within the company. Nike's vice President of Sustainability, Hannah Jones, announced the fellowship and a partnership with Code for America during a session at SXSW 2011. Nike has exposed internal data in the past and hopes to create a situation where other companies might follow suite for a greener future.
The biggest value that WattzOn is offering through its WattzOn API is access to its “Embodied Energy Database” (EED). This database seeks to detail the amount of energy required to manufacture, transport, use, and dispose of all our stuff. The idea is that if we knew the embodied energy in all the items we use, we could make better consumption choices, avoiding those items with unexpectedly high embodied energy.
In today's globalised world most products you see on the store shelf were probably made from parts sourced from all over the world. As we become more aware of the environmental impact of transporting these parts, it is important to have easily accessible information on how a final product comes together. Sourcemap is a project of the Media Lab at MIT, and it allows users to easily visualise what components go into a product, how they are shipped, and what the environmental impacts are.
Gnomedex, the annual tech conference in Seattle hosted by Chris Pirillo, and Microsoft Live Search, are teaming up to sponsor a developer's contest dubbed "Will Code for Green" where judges will accept mashup entries in two categories: Economy and Ecology.
You may not be familiar with Green Thing, a web based service that inspires people to lead a greener life, but you should be. With the help of brilliant videos and inspiring stories etc. from creative people and community members around the world, Green Thing focuses on seven things you can do - and enjoy doing.