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  • By Ricky Robinett
    Finding Out When to Buy World Series Tickets with PHP, Guzzle, Seat Geek API and Twilio royals

    Born and raised in Kansas City, I’ve been waiting my whole life to see the Royals win a World Series. This year “The Boys in Blue” have made it back to the fall classic and they’re playing the team that represents my adopted home, the New York Mets. I have my Royals cap ready and I want to support KC when they play in the greatest city in the world but tickets in NYC have hit record-setting prices. Luckily there’s hope! According to Freakonomics there’s a drop in prices a day or two before the game. In this post I’ll show you how I built an app using the SeatGeek API, PHP, Guzzle and Twilio to let me know exactly when I should buy tickets to the World Series.

    In the Bullpen

    We’ll need a few things before we start building:

    • PHP >= 5.5 – We’ll be …
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  • By Ricky Robinett
    Build Your Own IVR with AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway and Twilio Build Your Own IVR with AWS Lambda, Amazon

    My stomach is filled with butterflies. My mind is racing:

    “What could it be? I think I have an idea... but maybe I’m wrong. What am I waiting for?!?”

    Nothing quite tops the feelings you experience when someone gives you a gift. Our good friends at Amazon Web Services (AWS) stopped by the greatest city in the world for AWS Summit New York in July and dropped some super rad gifts on the audience. Of course, their gifts came in the form of developer tools that help make building and shipping software easier.

    Of all the things AWS launched I am most excited about the Amazon API Gateway. Using the API Gateway we can now invoke Lambda functions when phone calls or text messages come into Twilio. Today, to help you see how it all works, we’re going to build an IVR (or a “phone tree” for …

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  • By Ricky Robinett
    20,000 Text Messages Under the Sea with OpenROV, Node.js and Twilio MCWS_KMkyrnHslSSo2wB6x9wy3gp2z63Q3VEswSsb0Nvt2I2OOlEzsN4EdrnEpeeu1DCoPmWKSBGO-026h5ugqjQWVoY_TY0QZ6ftXPWW2nLg6_4oUlbxf9QIlBdzs7yNDcC3No

    Meet Rovie. Rovie is our underwater robotic friend here at Twilio:

    Rovie and Brent. Rovie is the one on the left.

    Over the past couple months myself and fellow Developer Evangelist Brent Schooley have been teaching Rovie to swim and send underwater pictures whenever she gets a text message. Last week at That Conference we took Rovie to her first party and he enjoyed swimming in the beautiful pool at the Kalahari Resort with 500 of her closest friends.

    Building Rovie

    Rovie is an OpenROV – an open-source, low-cost underwater robot for exploration and education. One of my favorite things about working with an OpenROV is that the cockpit software is a Node.js application. When we wanted to …

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  • By Ricky Robinett
    Building a Random Friend Dialer Part 1: Getting Started with Rust and Iron IMG_2939

    Few things make me happier than taking a stroll in Brooklyn and crossing paths with someone I haven’t talked to in a long time. But living in a city of eight and half million people this serendipitous moment doesn’t happen nearly enough. Lately I’ve been wondering if I can recreate some of the magic of this experience using technology. In this series I’m going to show you how to build an application that let’s you place a phone call to a random friend whenever you want. It’s not exactly the same as crossing paths in Brooklyn but it will still be a fun way to connect with long lost buddies.

    This series is also an excuse for me to learn a new programming language, Rust. Has Rust been on your list of languages to check out? Let’s learn together! In this first part of this series I’ll show you how …

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  • By Ricky Robinett
    Automate Your Mac Via SMS using JavaScript for Automation, Node.js and Twilio automator

    JavaScript is eating the programming world. Look around and you’ll see JavaScript in places people never would’ve expected 10 years ago. There’s JavaScript running on servers. There are more front-end JavaScript frameworks than you can shake a stick at. And there’s even JavaScript on my dog! Lucky me because I love JavaScript.

    A few months ago at BrooklynJS I was super excited to discover a new way I can use JavaScript. Alan Mooiman gave a great talking showing how you can use JavaScript to automate your Mac. After seeing Alan’s talk I wondered, could I write a script to take some action on my Mac using Twilio SMS? Spoiler alert: yes! yes I can!

    This post is all about learning how to automate your Mac via SMS message. The actual task we automate could be one of countless options but for the sake of simplicity we’re going to …

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  • By Ricky Robinett
    How To Build Your Own Hackpack Signal-Twilio-Conference-640×265

    In a just a couple of weeks, developers from around the world will be joining us in San Francisco for Signal. For some Signal attendees, the speakers will be the highlight. For others, it’s getting their hands on the new video SDK. There’s also a good chance that $bash will steal the show.

    Whatever part of Signal you’re most excited about, you can also look forward to receiving some awesome swag. We wanted to give Signal attendees a piece of swag unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. That’s why we partnered with littleBits to create custom built hackable backpacks for everyone joining us at the event:

    In this post, we’ll give an inside look at how we used littleBits to build the hardware internals of the hackpack and build an application that scrolls the word “Twilio” across the LED panel.

    We’ll leave it in your hands to modify your …

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  • By Ricky Robinett
    Get Notified When Someone Posts An Article From Your Domain on Hacker News Using Node.js, Firebase and Twilio Mobile phone text message or e-mail

    Last October Hacker News launched their official API and I’ve been trying to find an excuse to play with it ever since. The idea finally hit me last week: what if I built an application that notified me via SMS whenever someone posted a link to my domain on Hacker News? Hacker News is known to drive a ton of traffic and I probably want to be ready to spin up some extra servers if I end up making it on the front page. If you’ve also been waiting for an excuse to play with the Hacker News API you’re in luck because today I’m going to show you how to build this application using Node.js, Firebase and Twilio SMS.

    Our Tools

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  • By Ricky Robinett
    Create a Browser-Based Photobooth with JavaScript, PHP and Twilio h&r-3 (2)

    On one of the first dates I went on with my wife Hannah we stopped at a photobooth and snapped a collection of silly pictures. Those pictures are still some of my favorites we’ve taken together. Eight years later and we still try to stop at photobooths whenever we see them. But I always have one feature request when I use a photobooth, I wish they could deliver the pictures directly to my phone. Thankfully, we live in a world where the power to create new user experiences is quickly shifting to software people and it is no different with photobooths. We’re going to build a browser based photobooth that implements the one feature I’ve always wanted – it will deliver photos to our phone via MMS. All thanks to the power of JavaScript, PHP and Twilio. You can see the final product in action here.


    There are …

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  • By Ricky Robinett
    Passwordless SMS Authentication: Part 2 – Building iOS Front End With Swift lock-the-door

    I have to fill out a “forgot password” page at least once a week. That’s probably why I’m so excited about passwordless authentication. Passwordless authentication is a system where the application you’re logging into generates a one-time use token for you to log in with and delivers that token via SMS or some other means. You can then verify this password from the device you were attempting to log in with.

    In January we started a series of blog posts building out our own application that supports passwordless authentication with Twilio SMS. For me, this series is about trying and learning new things. In part 1 of the series we walked through building the API we’ll use for our passwordless SMS authentication application using Laravel and Twilio. Today we’re going to move on to building the iOS front end. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to dive deeper …

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  • By Ricky Robinett
    Answering Health Questions via SMS with IBM Watson and Twilio img-video-jeopardy

    Q: “Combining these two APIs can let you quickly query a complex health data set via SMS.”
    A: “What are IBM Watson and Twilio?”

    You probably remember IBM Watson battling humans in Jeopardy. Now developers can access this same power via the Watson Question and Answer API. Currently IBM has exposed the health and travel data sets via the API. I wanted to build an app that lets me send a question about health in an SMS and get a response from the Watson. This app will allow me to trick my friends into being impressed by my expansive knowledge of healthy living. Today I’m going to show you how I did it using IBM Bluemix, the Watson Question and Answer API, Node.js and Twilio. You can try out the finished product by texting a health related question to: (929) 242-6747

    What’s In Our Fannypack

    We’ll be using the …

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