The Latest News On The API Economy

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OpenADR API: We Got The Power

Brownouts got you fried? The Open Automated Demand Response API (OpenADR) aims to improve a critical aspect of handling the power load: improving Demand Response (DR) to electricity needs. Understanding demand, communicating demand and acting on it are all essential elements of effective DR. The SOAP/XML  API is all about helping grid managers use common standards to leverage the OpenADR specifications.

Spark Offers Light Bulb Control via API

Spark Devices just launched on Kickstarter and offers investors of $49 and above a free Spark Socket--the flagship product that connects standard light bulbs to the internet. Once a light bulb connects to the internet via the Spark Socket, consumers can control the light through an app (e.g. turn on and off, dim, monitor use, etc.). Additionally, Spark Devices has released Spark Devices API that allows developers to integrate light control into third party apps or websites.

SumUp Launches API for In-app Payments

SumUp, a mobile payments rising star, recently announced an API that allows third party apps to accept credit card and cash payments without leaving the app. Prior to the API, SumUp users and customers were required to use the SumUp app in isolation from the merchant app to utilize the slick mobile payments platform.

Sell The Benefits Of Solar With Clean Power Estimator's API

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.

OnStar Unlocks RelayRides as First API Partner

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.

Electricity Platform Genability Gets $500K For Solar

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."

Best New Mashups: Energy Mashups using Amazon, Genability and DonorsChoose

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.

An API That Makes Life More Fun

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.

The Evolving Face of the Hackathon

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.

Find Places To Charge Up Your Electric Car With Open Charge Map

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.

GoodGuide, an API for Ethical Product Ratings

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?

Nike Seeks Fellow to Start an Open Data Revolution

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.