Most developers view an API as a technical boundary – one they use to access the functionality of another component or service in order to improve their own offering. Combining several technical components together leads to an improved over all product for end-users. Open APIs, however, serve a far wider purpose within the current communications industries – they provide not just a technical boundary, but also an economic one.
Sure, you and 20 million of your closest friends are using foursquare. But how useful is it? UK-based Lanyrd, "the social conference directory," recently launched foursquare integration which aims to reward you with more than just points for checking into an event venue. Named after "the thing you wear around your neck at some conferences," Lanyrd offers a user-generated directory of different events, such as technology trade shows, hackathons, and unconferences like BarCamp. Now you can connect Lanyrd to your foursquare account and, after you check in at an event venue, jump over to the Lanyrd mobile app or web site to see more event information.
Your phone may soon be all you will ever need to carry around. Up until now, your online identity and the real world hasn't mixed. We have ways of authenticating offline and different methods online. Enole is trying to fix that, with an uncomplicated RESTful web service that enables developers to store user details alongside a mobile device ID.