Many of your favorite online services have an API that you can utilize to create projects that take advantage of their platform. You could, as a completely unbiased example, use the Wolfram Alpha and Twitter APIs to turn an ancient terminal into a personal assistant. That’s because an API allows you to use a service outside of their usual website or app. In this fun guide from Particle, you can learn how to build an awesome sharknicorn hat that lights up when your Uber driver is nearby.
Like many APIs, Uber’s has events that can be used as triggers. They’re based on what you see in the app: you requested a ride, the driver accepted, your driver is arriving, you’re in the car, and you’ve arrived at your destination. This build uses a Particle Photon to monitor those events, and then lights up the horn of the sharknicorn hat with the trigger you choose. So, you can have it light up when your driver arrives, or when you reach your destination so everyone knows you’re ready to party.
To make your sharknicorn hat, you’ll need a Particle Photon kit, a NeoPixel stick, a battery, a semi-translucent horn that can be 3D-printed, and some sort of hat. Obviously a shark hat works best, but you can also be boring and choose a horse hat. From there, you can follow the guide to wire everything up — don’t worry, the wiring is easy. Then, you can use the provided code to setup trigger events with the Uber API. The Particle Photon doesn’t have GSM, so if you want the trigger to work after you leave your home you’ll need to use your smartphone’s hotspot. Whichever trigger you choose, this is a fun way to celebrate going out for the night.