A 'hacking' time had by all…

Topic: Esendex news

hackdayAt Esendex we’re always really excited to see the innovative new ways in which our customers use our SMS APIs to create business systems. But why let our customers have all the fun?  What would happen if we let our own developers loose for a couple of days to see what cool new stuff they could come up with?
So last Thursday saw the start of the first Esendex Hack Day, with our developers taken off their day-to-day jobs and given just two working days to create a new product from scratch.  There were just 2 rules: to use our APIs to solve a consumer problem and to report back by 3pm Friday.  The wide range of new products they devised in such short timescales proved how flexible and powerful our APIs are (and how clever our developers are…).
Darren, John and Alex built an SMS messaging based directions finder, called “GetMe2”. Utilising our Location Based Services and Google Maps, the service allows customers to text in the place they want to get to (e.g. ‘London’, ‘coffee shop’, etc) and get directions back via SMS – perfect for the 70% of the UK population without smartphones – and all of us with smartphones who sometimes struggle for 3G reception.
Not every business has Outlook or Exchange – but by interfacing the Google calendar with the Esendex SMS API, John and Neil were able to create an appointment booking service, which used SMS to text appointment requests, updates and confirmations to both the calendar owner and the customer.
Jonathan’s product, ‘Atlas’ used a council’s car parking data stream to cleverly allow drivers to find out how many parking spaces were free in each of the city’s car parks by SMS.  Drivers could choose a town, a zone or even a specific car park and find out in real time the best place to park.
And Scott took the festive season as his inspiration, creating a Secret Santa Organiser!  Not only does it take all the administration away, but it works totally anonymously – meaning you’ll never find out who bought you that dodgy jumper…
The Hack Day was a great success and the team will be showcasing their work on their own blogs shortly.  We’re also looking to run a similar event next year for the wider development community, so if you’d like to join in please get in touch.

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Geoff