With the week half done it’s time to bring you a review of the stories we couldn’t cover with a look at what what going on in the world of APIs. If you have ever wanted to communicate with your vacuum cleaner through a voice interface, Amazon is bringing you one step closer to your dreams. They recently announced the Alexa Voice Service Device (AVS) SDK, allowing developers to create software for their devices that offer cloud-based intelligence and hands-free voice control. The SDK is comprised of C++ libraries that will enable devices to connect with AVS, process audio inputs and triggers and handle Alexa interactions such as speech recognition, setting of timers and alarms, streaming media, weather reports and numerous custom skills for your device. The SDK is available on Github and interested developers can visit the AVS SDK page to learn more.
In security news, Coinbase recently received a patent for a new bitcoin based security measure. The concept behind the patent relates to a methodology for storing, distributing and utilizing bitcoin private keys. According to the patent, this technology will be made available via an API accessed through Coinbase’s servers. The security protocol will distribute security data to a number of custodians who will be able to use a key ceremony application that encrypts bundles of passphrases for safe storage. This is not Coinbase’s first foray into security patents; to date this is their fourth such awarded patent and they have filed for nine more related to private key security.
Onboard Informatics, a provider of real estate information across the US, extended their Property API with the addition of school data. This data includes ratings, reviews and information on more than 125,000 public and private schools and districts. Developers can make GET requests to the API to get JSON or XML formatted data on a wide range of categories including: location, student and faculty data, programs, facilities and contact info. If you are interested in the API, you can read a recent overview of the Onboard Developer platform.