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It’s often said it’s all about the journey, not the destination. For endurance sports enthusiasts, it’s all about tracking the journey. From route traveled and steps taken to sweat beads shed– they want to know, and in the quickest, most convenient, and coolest way possible. So, it’s no surprise that more and more companies are turning their attention toward developing the next big thing in fitness-tracking technology.
TomTom, the world’s leading supplier of location and navigation products and services, will soon be wrapping wrists with its latest innovation in GPS sports watches. Having teamed up with Nike back in 2011 for the Nike+ SportWatch, TomTom is stepping back into the fitness tech space with its own take on the rapidly growing trend of wearable gadgets.
Scheduled to launch this summer, the Runner and Multi-Sport watches will offer endurance athletes the ability to track workouts, collect route data, access a variety of training modes, and sync their data with online communities like RunKeeper or MyFitnessPal. Despite its oversized screen, the Runner and Multi-Sport will be some of the sleekest GPS sports watches on the market. Among other impressive features like its Gorilla glass display, GPS antenna, and top-of-the-line accelerometer, the watch is built to sustain watery depths of up to 50 meters.
While the hardware is the same on both, the devices differ in the software and accessories available. The Runner includes programs particular to running, while the Multi-Sport offers additional metrics for tracking swimming and cycling performance. A Bluetooth connection enhances the watch’s functionality by helping it “to position itself faster when paired with a smartphone running a companion app by making use of the phone's location and network data to speed up GPS acquisition.” In addition to improving the GPS feature, users can utilize their Bluetooth connection “to communicate with a variety of accessories, including heart-rate monitors and bicycle speed and cadence sensors.” More details on pricing and availability will become available as the summer launch approaches.
Do you have a topic you’d like to hear more about? Leave us a comment below or visit the Forum to get in on the discussion.
Source: Antuan Goodwin, www.cnet.com
Guest post submitted by Shannon Fiack, Senior Content Manager for ACTIVE Network’s Sports Division. You can follow her weekly on the ACTIVE Network Endurance Blog.
In the wake of Monday’s tragedy at The Boston Marathon, we wanted to send a message of solidarity and support to the running community and all Bostonians. We are humbled by the strength of spirit shown by the organizers of the marathon, the runners participating in it, the first responders, and the thousands of spectators involved. We are so incredibly proud to be part of the endurance community and we’ll do everything we can to support it.
Ways You Can Help
Donate – here are three worthy organizations to provide your support:
Wear a race shirt:
Walking around our office and our city streets, we see people wearing race shirts to honor those involved in the attack. Something so simple is a powerful way to show our solidarity.
Run/walk events are being organized across the country to bring people together. Find one in your local community and be part of it.
Boston, our thoughts are with you.
Image Source: Rick Gray / GrayCreative.net
Mashery recently shined their customer spotlight on ACTIVE.com for implementing a successful API program. Since aligning with Mashery and its arsenal of services and support, ACTIVE has been able to “expand the functionality of our API, as well as leverage connections with the developer community to drive usage and adoption.” After launching our open data ACTIVE Access platform, we’ve seen continuous, incremental month-over-month growth for both the company and our partners. Our relationship with our developer community has been integral to the program’s success. With that said, we wanted to take a moment and share some wins as well as gratitude with our developers who’ve made it all possible by integrating with our APIs.
Here are a few callouts:
- Since January 2011, ACTIVE.com has had more than 5.1 million visits generated by our API, amounting to 130% year-over-year growth.
- We’ve seen 250% year-over-year growth in the number of transactions originating from our API.
- Top tier partners had incremental growth of 5 to 10% month-over-month throughout 2012.
We look forward to reaching new heights in 2013 as we explore ways to expand the program, empower our partners, and further our mission of providing access to activities anywhere.
To read the full story, visit http://www.mashery.com/case-studies/activecom.
Do you have any success stories to share? Tell us in the comments below!
Content Source: Mashery.com
The ACTIVE.com API was recently featured in a tutorial that outlines its ease of integration with StackMob, a leading provider of backend services for mobile developers. StackMob offers simple solutions to many of the challenges mobile developers face in building apps and growing their mobile business. In the tutorial, Sidney Maestre, a Platform Evangelist for StackMob, highlights how to build an enhanced user experience without deploying an army of servers or writing a ton of code. The guinea pig of choice - the ACTIVE.com demo app, built by Mashery Platforms Evangelist, Neil Mansilla.
The ACTIVE.com demo app uses the Activity Search API to generate results in a user’s zip code, which are then presented to the user on a map. In one of the fastest growing industries in the world, a quality user experience is key. This is where MBaaS (mobile backend as a service) providers like StackMob step in.
By integrating with the StackMob public API, developers can “add backend services like data storage, social integration and push notifications without writing a lot of server-side code.” With the ACTIVE.com demo app, StackMob enabled the implementation of features like “user management and authentication, data storage and access control levels.” Now, instead of simply generating results, users can view activity details and add and store them as favorites. Favorites are then linked to specific users by the addition of a signup/login form.
To check out the entire tutorial and for directions on how to get the ACTIVE.com demo code, click here.
Have you had any experience working with StackMob or another MBaaS provider? Share it below!
Content source: Sidney Maestre, Guest Post on Mashery Developer Blog
Image Source: www.d3solutions.com & http://masherydev.tumblr.com
Last weekend, two Rutgers students claimed the prize for “Best Use of an API from the Mashery Network” at HackRU in New Brunswick, NJ. Joyce Wang and Nikolay Feldman took part in the 24-hour student hackathon hosted by The Undergraduate Student Alliance of Computer Scientists (USACS) at Rutgers University. Deemed best hack using APIs within the Mashery Network, the duo designed their Android application using the ACTIVE API.
The award-winning app, “Let’s PlanGen!” helps connect users to local events and activities from the convenience of their smartphone. After prompting for a user’s zip code, it generates a list of events in the area and allows the user to save the ones of interest, then continue to generate more. Once the user is satisfied with a selection of activities, Let’s PlanGen! takes it one step further and creates a schedule for the user.
Since it was their first time doing Android programming, they only used a couple of APIs including ACTIVE’s Activity Search API and the TMS API.
"We decided to choose Active because sports activities around the area are not always well-known and publicized enough. And we figured that being able to display all of these events would make things more convenient; if the user didn't like the selections displayed, he could simply generate more. Neither I nor Joyce have done any Android programming before… we learned a great deal about Android as we went and the experience was definitely worth it. The ACTIVE API was really easy to use. It was a simple web request with some parameters in the URL that returned a JSON. Parsing the JSON for the information needed was a whole different challenge, but that's not because of the API. The API did it's job in returning the JSON in a very easy and efficient way. Once we figured out JSON, everything came together and our app finally had some life.” - Joyce Wang and Nikolay Feldman on their winning hack
Read more about Let's PlanGen! here.
If you’ve developed something innovative using one of our APIs, we’d love to show it off in our App Gallery. Whether it’s a way to tap into local happenings, or a tool to fake out your friends like CouchCachet,we want to see it!
Image Source: https://twitter.com/amit
More photos from the event:
Change – some fear it, others embrace it, and many don’t even realize it’s happened. You might fall into that last category if this is the first you’re hearing of ACTIVE’s branding update. Over the last few months, ACTIVE has taken on a new and improved look, and this includes all of our widgets. Here are three reasons why this change benefits you:
1.) New Branding: Yes, the new widgets have “had some work done,” but not in a scary Real Housewives of Beverly Hills way. They’ve been carefully crafted to follow ACTIVE’s rebranding requirements, helping you to connect people with things they love, want, and need to do…and look good doing it.
2.) Friendlier User Experience: The newly redesigned widgets represent a much smoother and more intuitive search experience. The most noticeable change is that all of the dropdowns have been moved from the bottom to the top, with the exception of the Search widget which has an entirely new look and feel.
3.) Enhanced Affiliate Tracking: If you have the widget on multiple pages of your site, the new SubID feature allows you to identify which webpage the click or transaction originated from. To utilize, simply add a “Placement ID” on the bottom of the widget customization page (i.e. Placement ID=homepage; Placement ID=Races-page).
Then, check to see how each widget is performing by logging in to the Affiliate Center and clicking on the Sub ID Breakout Report under the Results tab.
Ok, that was our part. Here’s yours:
Return to the ACTIVE Access website to grab the new code from the widget creator: http://developer.active.com/Widgets. The existing widgets will still remain effective, but must be replaced with the new code no later than May 8th. If you do not return to get the new code before then, the widget will automatically update with new branding which may not match your website/application.
Contact us at: support-affiliate@ACTIVEnetwork.com or leave a comment below!
If you are a developer looking for ways to integrate with Fellowship One, stop by the ACTIVE Access App Gallery to check out what some third-party vendors have built using the Fellowship One RESTful API. The gallery features images of the app in action, a short description on what it does, as well as links to learn more. You’ll find everything from event ticketing and member management solutions to mobile-based tithing tools for iOs and Android.
So, how can you start hacking the Fellowship One API?
Visit the Fellowship One Developer Portal to apply for your API key. Once you receive your key, dig right in to Fellowship One’s sandbox environment where you’ll be able to build and test out your code. After development is complete, submit your code for review. Upon approval, the app will be released into a live production environment where customers can begin using it.
Want to know more about Fellowship One?
Click here to read up on how their church management software systems allow churches of all sizes to be more effective in ministry, more efficient in administration, and more engaged with their communities.
Feeling Inspired? Visit the Fellowship One Developer Portal to apply for your API key!
If you've never been to SXSW, then you are definitely missing out. This conference combines original music, independent films, and emerging technologies to foster an environment that encourages collaboration and growth. The ACTIVE Network team had the pleasure of attending SXSWi to demo our technology within the Circus Mashimus lounge, hosted by Mashery. The 'Interactive' portion of the SXSW conference brings together geeks from all walks of life to spread ideas and hobnob with innovators in the technology industry. For 5 days, we showcased our technology platform and spoke with over 900 people about our APIs. Overall, it was a great learning experience. Some of the highlights from our time at the conference:
The convention center was teeming with people just about everyday, which kept us busy in the Circus Mashimus lounge. Approximately 9000+ attendees visited the Circus Mashimus lounge (16% were developers), roughly 10% were exposed to the ACTIVE Network technology platform and APIs through direct conversation. Many were surprised that they had access to such a large directory of events and activities via our APIs, as well as the database for 97% of the state and national parks within the US and Canada.
We had two of our API users stop by our demo pod to showcase their apps and demo how easy it is to integrate the ACTIVE APIs. The team that built CouchCachet (Harlie Levine, Brian Fountain, & Justin Isaf) hung out at the ACTIVE demo pod to show off thier award-winning app. Cunningly, this app allows you to be the person that you want everyone to think that you are online. By mashing up the Foursqaure API and the ACTIVE API, this app won the Mashery prize at the recent Foursqaure Hackathon by allowing users to check-in at thier house, spend a lazy day catching up on Downton Abbey, while the app checks you in at various hot spots around town... Later, sending you a list of activities via the ACTIVE API, in case you want to get off the couch. If you're interested in fooling some friends, check it out: http://www.couchcachet.com/.
Jeff Linwood stopped by to show off his RV Trip Planner app that he built in a day at the HackDay hackathon in Dallas, TX. His app also won the Mashery prize at this event for his clever use of the ACTIVE Campgrounds API to help his retired friends plan thier RV trips and check out campgrounds in the local area.
We also gave away lots of swag to excited SouthBy attendees! If you came by to check our API demo pod, you may have walked away with a nice new tshirt, some stickers, and great ideas for a new app! We quickly ran out of this popular shirt and noticed attendees wearing them a couple days later during the event. If you were a lucky raffle winner, you may have been hooked up with some premium backpacks to carry your hacker gear.
Some of the most valuable experiences were at the after-parties where everyone is mingling. Startups are pitching on every street corner and making use of every interaction to promote their brand/idea that you are bound to run into someone that you can work with. We definitely walked away with some conversations that we will be continuing back in the office. All in all, we had a successful trip to Austin with the purpose of exposing our ACTIVE Access API program to the tech community as a whole.
Did you attend SXSW Interactive this year? If so, let us know how it went for you. We'd love to share your story with the community. Leave a comment below.
Plancast has made its data easily available so developers can create interesting apps, mashups, and analysis. As a result, we’ve decided to collect information to help us understand the API’s usage and plan for the future of the API. We want to cultivate relationships with our third-party developers and provide improved documentation and developer support. Simultaneously, we see the need to track the API’s growth so we make sure we can scale with the demand.
With that in mind, we are partnering with Mashery to use their API management solution. Mashery will help us migrate the Plancast API to its proxy infrastructure so we can measure call volumes and make the API scale better. On February 22nd, 2013, we cutover to Mashery’s servers. To end users, this cutover had no visible impact.
Three weeks following the cutover, the Plancast API will also launch within the ACTIVE Access developer portal (http://developer.active.com/) on on March 15th, 2013, where developers can register and publish their apps, find documentation and IO Docs, and participate in a forum with ACTIVE Network team.
The API will eventually require developers to adopt access keys to use the API. We will move through this transition cautiously with clear cut goals in mind: 1) not break existing applications and uses of the API and 2) ensure uninterrupted service of any applications. We will not mandate use of access keys at the outset and will give developers ample time (on the order of months) to bake access keys into applications. We will share more as we iron out the details.
To recap, On February 22nd, 2013, all API calls will be routed through Mashery’s proxy servers but there will be no impact to existing applications. The migration should be completely transparent. Please continue using the API as you were. If for any reason, your application is adversely impacted, let us know at PlancastSupport@activenetwork.com or http://plancast.com/about/contact and we will look into it immediately.
The developer portal offers improved documentation including IO Docs, a forum for developers to ask questions, identify bugs, and make API requests. In addition to this, we’d like developers to start registering their applications and use an API key. As with any API, we’d like to prevent abuse, allocate and scale resources more efficiently, and potentially offer custom endpoints of the Plancast API in the future. Our target date to have all Plancast applications use access keys is August 1st, 2013 — approximately six months from now. To get there in the least intrusive (to your application) and effective manner, here is our migration plan:
Access Keys Required From August 1, 2013
Unregistered (using no access key) Applications Throttling
Starting February 22nd, 2013, all unregistered calls will fall under the ‘Unregistered’ bucket. A rate limit of 100K calls per hour will be instituted on this bucket. This means the sum total of all calls in this bucket will be capped, not per application. This rate limit will decrease by 15K calls/hour for every month thereafter.
Essentially on February 22nd, 2013, the aggregate call volume for all unregistered apps is capped at 100K/hour. On 3/1, this will be capped at 85K/hour, on 4/1 to 70K/hour, and so forth until August 1st, when this limit will effectively drop to 0.
What happens if my app hits the rate ceiling? If a call from your unregistered app is made once the aggregate cap (across all apps) is reached for the hour, your app will receive a 403 response as shown below.
This application has exceeded the hourly rate limit. API calls are being made without an access key. Your application must start using access keys by August 1, 2013 in order to continue using the API. Please register for free at http://developer.active.com/member/register and start using access keys to avoid being rate limited. More details at http://developer.active.com/.
If you start seeing failures in your app, please check your server logs for this message. To protect against this, simply register for a key (see the section below) and use it in every call.
If you register your existing (or new) application and start appending the access key in every call to the API, you will _not_ be throttled/rate limited. We therefore highly encourage you to register as soon as possible to create your developer account and start using keys. Registration is free.
The API calls will remain the same except that you will need to append the access key in every call. Example below:
Summary Of Changes
To summarize, these are the changes coming to the Plancast API
- On August 1st, 2013, required use of access key for every endpoint and application
- Unregistered applications to be throttled at aggregate call volume of 100K calls/hour, progressively degraded by 15K calls/month, and effectively dropping to 0 on 8/1/2013
- No rate limiting for registered applications
Still Reading? Start Hacking!
Here is a quick start guide to the developer portal and to help you build your application using a Plancast API key:
Register — http://developer.active.com/member/register
Documentation — http://developer.active.com/docs/
Interactive IO Docs — http://developer.active.com/io-docs
Developer Forum — http://developer.active.com/forum
We value our developer community and have thought about this API launch carefully. If you have any feedback, please comment it in the forum and we’ll keep the discussion going there.
With all the advice out there on growing your business, it can be tricky at times to distinguish the Michael Dells of the world from the Michael Scotts. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve got your back.
Whether you want to build knowledge of the basics or master more advanced techniques, you’ll want to check out the ACTIVE Access Resource Library. We’ve put together a list of some trusted learning resources around Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, and General Marketing. Under each category, you’ll find books and blogs that should help point you in the right direction.
SEO: Find everything from free downloadable resources like the “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” or read up on more advanced techniques in books like, The Art of SEO.
PPC: Learn how to successfully utilize PPC advertising in your marketing campaign with Winning Results with Google AdWords or tune in to the latest tricks and time-saving tools with video lessons and more on the Certified Knowledge blog.
General Marketing: Stay up-to-date on the latest marketing news and insight from Econsultancy's The Daily Pulse, or start from scratch with the tips and tactics outlined in the free eBook, The Ultimate How-to Marketing Guide.
We’ll continue to grow this library, so check in regularly to see what’s new.
Do you have a favorite book or blog on these topics? Share it below!
Image source: creativeclass.com
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