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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Twilio Flex Launched Enterprise Connect 2018 logo

    This year at Enterprise Connect the community all came out to party — specifically a launch party for Twilio Flex.

    Flex re-imagines a contact center platform, offering programmability at every layer of the stack.

    What better way to show off Flex’s programmability than by throwing an Arduino Uno in a blender?

    So let’s say you have a call center that’s devoted to monitoring an Arduino Uno’s internet connectivity. In your Flex-powered custom call center dashboard, you could log an event the instant the device loses connectivity. For example, when it meets the unforgiving blades of a blender. That’s exactly what we did.

    You can check out Jeff Lawson‘s Flex announcement and Al Cook’s Flex …

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    What You Can Learn About Humanity From A Smashmouth Phone Line smash_mouth

    There’s no real explanation for why I built a phone line that does nothing but plays Smashmouth’s “All Star”. I’ll chalk up Twitter distraction as my excuse.

    That phone line quietly logged 1,200 calls in a few months, leading me to shout to the heavens “Who is calling this line and why? Dear God, why?”

    I reached out to the interwebs searching for an answer. In doing so, I opened Pandora’s Box. More accurately, Smashmouth opened Pandora’s box.

    How To Quantify Humanity’s Consumption of “All Star”

    Their tweet sparked a stretch of non-stop calls to a my All Star phone line. In total, callers listened to a total 4.2 days of “All Star”.

    In an effort to detail what occurred, and unpack what this says about the human condition, I am releasing the critical bits …

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Building in the Middle of a Hurricane: How One Texas Town Recovered From Hurricane Harvey Together Hurricane Harvey Impacts

    The worst of Hurricane Harvey’s flooding started on Sunday, August 27th around 4 AM. Some Friendswood, TX residents thought they’d be able to wait out the rain. That quickly became untenable. By 7 AM, those residents were marching through waist deep water towards rescue boats. Hours later, one third of the homes in Friendswood were underwater.

    In this new reality, the line between city official and citizen blurred a bit. The residents of Friendswood and the City of Friendswood banded together to rebound from a hurricane while in the middle of one.

    This is how they did it.

    The Flood

     
    As soon as the flooding started, the City began its unenviable task of triaging emergencies, and quickly found itself stretched thin.

    The City’s Emergency Department focused on water rescues. With a limited supply of boats they put the call out for backup. Neighbors answered and piloted their fishing boats and …

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Developer Digest: Life Before Lootboxes — Playing Dart-Based Skyrim via Text logo

    Normally, this would be in your inbox. This is a blog-rendition of our email for all you lovely developers, the Developer Digest. To grab the next issue on January 16th, sign up here. Alright, let’s get right to it.

    There are a few tools that you can’t imagine your life without. That could be anything from a handy framework, to the backpack you throw your laptop in. This edition of the Developer Digest (on the blog) celebrates the folks building those tools, and the moments they create for the people using them.

     

    Developer Digest

    I’ll Always Love You Rails, But Hanami and I Have Something Special

    Hanami is a new framework biting Rails’ heels. Take it for a spin with Rails veteran, Phil Nash. He’ll show you how to send and receive texts in Ruby with Hanami.

     

    Skyrim Lootboxes Via Text —Lootboxes Are Cool, Right? Hello? Guys…
    Just …

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Lee Martin Gets You To Focus On One Thing Using ThreeJS, HTML and Your Own Face SouthernGothic

    Lee MartinMaybe you’re more likely to focus on one thing if that thing is your own face.

    That’s the general philosophy behind Lee Martin’s latest work. He’s battling against our insatiable appetite for internet distraction in hopes that you’ll focus on music, and just music, for a few moments.

    Lee built out a website for 14-time Grammy Award Winner, Dan Tyminski’s new album, Southern Gothic, that mirrors Dan’s music and also your face — literally.
     

    Lee’s creation, The Garden of Good and Evil, is a world made in the style of Dan’s album. Picture frames hang from a black tree’s branches as Dan’s new album plays. As the branches rotate, you see a real-time video (powered by Twilio) of your face in those branches (assuming you let the site access your camera).

    Holding Up A Mirror

    “Seeing the impact from the listening events and latching onto …

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Autopilot Lets You Control SMS Conversation Flows with No Code twilio-and-autopilot-integration

    You don’t have to take a coding class to build that new feature. Autopilot just launched a drag and drop feature that allows you to control SMS with a visual editor.

    When a user sends a text to your Twilio powered number, that’s logged in Autopilot. Using a drag and drop interface, you can set up a logic for Twilio, and other third party services, to follow when that text comes in. This gives you the ability to create a friendly bot that can communicate with your users, and also log leads.

     

     

    Let’s say you’re running an ice cream shop and want to let people know about the grand opening. When a user text the number you’ve advertised, the bot can reply “Hey thanks for texting in, what’s your name?” When the user responds with their name, it becomes a variable that the bot will log and use going forward. …

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Streem Brings Augmented Reality, 3-D Mapping to Twilio Video Chat streem

    The first mistake is thinking you can fix it yourself. A kitchen sink is an understandable device, one you can surely wrangle. 30 minutes later you are down a sink, and looking for a plumber.

    In those moments, you wish that the world shared your sense of urgency to remedy your problem. That wish might not be granted but your other wish will be. Streem can beam an expert into your (augmented) reality to help you assess your damage.

    Streem uses Twilio Video, Sync, and SMS to bend time and space, to pair experts and consumers together in a mobile based, augmented reality video chat.

    When you contact a plumber, they can send you a Streem invite link via SMS. Once you download the Streem app, you press one button and you’re connected with that plumber in a video chat. The plumber can see and assess the damage …

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Text This Number to Get Air Quality Status cur_aqi_ca_nv

    The wildfires in California have reaped tremendous damage. Our hearts go out to the victims, victims’ families and friends, and the brave people fighting those fires. You can donate to victims of the California Wildfires via the Red Cross here.  PBS has also published a list of other ways to assist victims.

    Text your five digit zip code to 206-274-5525 and you’ll receive AirNow’s air quality report and recommendations. We hope this will help those affected by the fires stay informed and stay safe.

    Josh Atkin built this SMS service to ensure people without access to a computer, smart phone, or the internet can receive the air quality reports they need in a timely manner.

    Residents in those in the areas affected by fires, and surrounding the fires’ path are are monitoring AirNow.gov for vital information regarding what precautions to take based on air quality reports and forecasts.

    If …

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    MyZindagi Fights Fake Doctors, Brings Real Doctors and Real Care To The Masses With Twilio Video Zindagi

    There’s a critical shortage of doctors in developing countries which puts those in need of medical care in a compromised position. In urban and rural regions, patients struggle to find the medical care they need. This shortage of doctors has opened up an opportunity for predatory con artists posing as doctors.
     
    In the middle of this fraught ecosystem is a small team of developers and doctors focused on getting lower income families the care they need, while trying to put fake doctors out of work.
     
    Fake doctors rely on the financial and logistical barriers to medical care in developing countries. MyZindagi, based in Pakistan, is taking that advantage away from them. It’s easier to fight bad guys when you have better tools to work with.
     

    Bringing Health Care To The Masses

    “We started this service to provide healthcare to the masses,” says MyZindagi COO Haseeb Sattar. “It provides reliable …

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    From 0 to 15 Million In A Few Months: Relay Scales Their Texting Platform For Organizers RelaySMSTwilio

    On September 1st, 2016, Relay had sent a total of 0 text messages. The day after the United States Presidential Election, they’d sent 15 million. Scaling a peer-to-peer texting platform from zero to election-season level traffic isn’t light work, but it was easier than Relay CEO and Founder Daniel Souweine expected.

    “When organizers find something that works, they’re not afraid to go big. So it was great to build Relay on top of Twilio, where millions of messages a day is just par for the course,” says Souweine.

    The Power of a Peer to Peer Texting Platform

    He first saw the power of peer-to-peer texting on the Bernie Sanders campaign, where he ran the national volunteer texting program, aka Text for Bernie. After the campaign ended, he joined with a several former campaign staff and volunteers to turn the lessons they learned into Relay.

    Getting people to rally behind a …

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