It was great being on hand at the Integrate Hackathon and TADHack Chicago, helping hackers innovate with our API. Integrate participants were asked to use the Flowroute API and FreeSWITCH to facilitate anonymous communication between people, much like how companies like Lyft, Rover, and Airbnb use phone number masking to create an anonymous connection between users and providers. The hacks were fun, the results were compelling, and it is an exciting indication of what’s to come.
Watching innovation happen
First there was the Integrate Hackathon, where Secret Party used the Flowroute API and FreeSWITCH to create events and parties anonymously (think back to a ‘90’s rave where you waited by a payphone which then directed you to the local 7-11 to find the golden egg) using different platforms including, tablet, and mobile. The application works by using the Flowroute API to purchase a DID and route it to the Secret Party backend FreeSWITCH system. Then users utilize HP Link to embed the phone number into an image, a flyer for example. Party goers then scan the image to get the phone number, and when they call the phone number they are anonymously connected to a recording with party details, or invited to help with pre-party planning.
Other projects that were submitted included On Call, an application that allows a user to contact an on-call rotation of staff (engineers for example) without sharing personal phone numbers. Using Flowroute and FreeSWITCH to mask caller ID, a user can hit a button, and automatically call the current on-call person without knowing the assigned person’s private information, and without revealing their own phone number. The person receiving the call also has the ability to anonymously call back the original caller, keeping both parties information safe.
Next up was TADHack. There were a number of great apps that utilized the Flowroute API and FreeSWITCH to deliver a creative user experience. Ultimately, the winning application was Samaritan, an app that allows users to request help for problems such as a dead car battery or flat bicycle tire. Samaritan uses Matrix and Flowroute resources to create a platform independent app which allows users to request location-based help via phone, text or video. Whenever a user wants to place a voice call the Flowroute API is utilized to purchase a DID and route it a FreeSWITCH system that has the call anonymizing script in it.
Excited for the future
API access to calling and messaging services are driving the next wave of innovation in telecommunications. Seeing it first hand at Integrate and TADHack Chicago was very gratifying and provided a great forum to see first hand how devs are using APIs to deliver creative user experiences. We can’t wait to see what our customers dream up next.
If you are interested in the Flowroute API, you can get more information on our developer portal, where you’ll also find reference docs, example code, and our API explorer. Our dream is for developers to be their own carriers, and we are excited to see what the future has in store.