StarHub Launches SmartFoundry, Releases Voice and SMS APIs
StarHub today announced the launch of SmartFoundry, an application programming interface (API) platform for software developers and other interested parties to tap on its APIs to accelerate the creation and deployment of products and services for businesses and consumers in Singapore.
For a start, StarHub will offer the beta release of its voice and SMS APIs at no cost. Additional APIs that allow access to other network capabilities will be deployed in the near future, with the full suite of APIs available by the second half of 2014.
"We are excited to make available our voice call and SMS capabilities as APIs to the developer community, to promote innovation, growth and productivity in app development, as well as to support tech start-ups and savvy individuals to fast track their ideas to enterprises and consumers in Singapore," said Mr Stephen Lee, StarHub's Head of i3 (Innovation, Investment, Incubation).
Mr. Lee believes that SmartFoundry can help software developers gain the competitive edge by implementing communication features quickly in their offerings for customers, without the need to learn specific programming languages, master different VoIP software or invest in costly hardware.
With SmartFoundry’s voice and SMS APIs, a software developer can build rich voice and SMS features in to their apps and services. Here's a list of possible use case scenarios through SmartFoundry:
- Restaurant booking
A URL link on a webpage or a button on an app can trigger a call-back that connects the customer to the next available restaurant staff for reservation. If there is none available an SMS or an automated voice call can be triggered to let potential customer know that they will expect a call shortly. By integrating an interactive voice system to a restaurant booking system, customer can make a booking from a call triggered from web page. In addition, a confirmation SMS/call (IVR) can be established to remind customer or seek a second confirmation nearer to the booking date.
- OTP (One-time Password)
OTP generally involves the sending of a passcode to the end user via SMS which requires a mobile phone. Another way of enabling OTP will be via voice, where a voice call is triggered to read out a passcode to the end user.
With SmartFoundry's API, develipers can easily enable voice passcode using popular programming language like PHP and without investment into hardware, knowing voice specific protocol and scripting. Additionally, it can bring up the level of authentication over voice by requiring the end-user to enter information like birth date before a passcode is issued.
- Flight booking
A flight booking system could use the SmartFoundry's telephony API to build an IVR (Interactive voice response) system using popular
programming language like PHP and without investment into hardware, knowing voice specific protocol and scripting.
In such a system. a customer could call in to the IVR system and enter his flight number. The telephony APIs would be able to capture the customer's input and pass it to the flight booking system to look up the flight information. This flight information could then be returned to the IVR system to be read out to the customer using the API's text-to-speech feature. This system can even be extended to check-in over IVR. In another use case, a reminder SMS or call can be trigger automatically to remind customers to go to the gates when the boarding time is approaching.
To educate developers about SmartFoundry, StarHub will organise a hackathon that focuses on building innovative apps using StarHub’s voice and SMS APIs. Developer evangelist Mr Johnny Diggz from Tropo will mentor at this event.
This one-day event will be held on 16 November 2013 at The HUB Singapore, National Youth Council Academy. StarHub is looking to incubate innovative ideas or software projects that it can bring to market. To sign up, please go to http://tapi.starhub.com/hackathon.