Another Take on Twilio Signal 2015

Editor’s note: Mark (@mvilrokx) and Raymond are at it again. Earlier in the week, they each provided a take on last weekend’s Bay Are Maker Faire, and this week, they both attended Twilio’s (@twilio) first developer conference, Signal. Mark’s take is here; now, it’s Raymond’s turn. Enjoy.

Twilio is no stranger to us at AppsLab. We have embedded Twilio Voice, SMS in applications such as Taleo Interview Evaluations, IoT call at Maker Faire 2014, and Daily Asteroid report, etc. It is simple yet powerful approach to achieve some real useful communication for some interesting projects.

But I never imagined Twilio is so big, that it is big enough to host a conference and get thousands of enthusiastic attendees.

They have come a long way – at the conference, they announcemed a slew of new products, and some of them are rightfully timely and empowering. A couple of samples:

  • Twilio Authy, a perfect way of embedding a two-factor Authentication into your next awesome and secure application.
  • Twilio Conference (basic, global, epic) – lets you bypass carrier lock-down, and bypass the nasty roaming.
  • Twilio Video – a Twilio flavored WebRTC, provides your application to conserve context over communication through voice, text, and video. That’s contextual communication even when you jump from your application over to communication channel.
  • Twilio IP Message – allow us embedded advanced messaging in all types of mobile and web apps

I think Twilio worked on its strength to position itself really well. They strive to provide composeable API as building block (just like Lego), and make it easy for developer to embed communication capability, and non-friction from users (no need to install anything).

In the current world, you pretty much have one app for one of anything, you have one app for ordering pizza, one app for calling taxi. Let’s Magic help you, a service built on Twilio, by just texting your desire to a number, and “hopefully” your wish is fulfilled 🙂 That’s called non-friction!

Another use case is “Code for American”. Users can text to a number, and get your card balance. Such quick easy way to access some quick information provides real “accessibility to information”.

And one more use case is “American Red Cross” for disaster response, where they can form and coordinate the ad-hoc group of volunteers, where the group may be fluid.

In retrospective, our Taleo Interview Evaluation demo build can be thought of a very good use case for providing easy access to information and transaction.

With Twilio’s new release and capabilities, I look forward to building new contextual enterprise application for easy access and interaction.

Now here is a fun bit:

As usual, the Conference gives every attendee a backpack, and this time, with a twist. It has littleBits to power a 8×8 LED panel which can be attached to the backpack.


And during $Bash event, they have cloudBit as prize to give out. Mark and I were determined to win that cloudBit, so that we can extend the LED panel display on the backpack, to be controlled remotely over Internet! We found out the most efficient way to win points, which is by playing Pinball games. We worked together, and of course, we got what we aimed for.


And by the way, I became the champion of the night for Pinball games on the floor, by scoring over 430,000 points in one game.
That’s a nice surprise to me too, that I have got talent in Pinball game!

One comment

  1. Nice insight Raymond. The Taleo Twilio innovation always goes down a stormer.

    FYI for everyone:

    Signal was Twilio’s fourth developer conference- they’ve rebranded and refocused from TwilioCon (held 2011, 2012, 2013).

    The idea is to be an ecosystem conference for all things communications rather than just a Twilio user conference.

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