Case study: Olisto and the KPN SMS API
Olisto is a platform for connecting devices, apps and (web)services in real-time through APIs. Use Olisto and you no longer need to worry about the detail of how Tech A, B and C work because Olisto takes care of that for you. And it’ll make them work together according to rules that you define.
The world of smart devices and APIs is built on a promise of interconnectivity. In truth, sometimes Tech A doesn’t play well with Tech B. And if you want to invite Tech C to the party then you might just find you’re spending more time helping everyone get along rather than building your own product.
Sure, you could write your own intermediary layer. But instead of solving one problem you suddenly have 3 more: as well as maintaining your own code you’re now responsible for tracking changes in each technology’s API.
That’s where Olisto comes in. Olisto does this by letting end-users create rules – or triggs – that connect devices and services together. Let's dive into Olisto's world and see why they decided to work with the KPN.
Wacth this movie about Olisto and discover its use of the KPN SMS API.
Bringing football home
Watching sport is as much about creating an atmosphere with fellow fans as it is about what’s happening on the pitch. When you’re watching on TV at home, it’s fun to try to recreate some of the feeling of being with your fellow fans in the stadium.
The team at Olisto have created a trigg to help. Tell the Olisto app the name of your favourite football team and then connect it to your Philips Hue or KlikAanKlikUit smart lighting. Now, whenever your team play you’ll have a bit of the big-stadium atmosphere in your own home. How?
Olisto uses sports news feeds to track when your team is playing. At the start of the match, it’ll use the relevant API to switch your lights on ready for the game to begin. Then, whenever there’s a goal it’ll blink your lights in celebration. When the other team scores, your lights flash red.
You could even tell it to send you SMS updates, in case you’re unable to watch the match yourself. And to send those text messages, Olisto uses the KPN SMS API.
Enabling their platform to send SMS messages was a key requirement for the Olisto team. Research shows that 90% of people read text messages within 3 minutes of receiving them. While football is fun, Olisto is designed for far more serious scenarios too. So, it was essential that they work with a telecoms API that was not only easy to implement but also offered unrivaled reliability.
“It wasn’t easy to find a reliable SMS partner,” according to Olisto co-founder Tom Meijeraan. “For Olisto, it’s essential that our text messages get delivered in real-time. For some use cases they can carry life or death information.”
The problem comes down to routing. Lower quality SMS APIs might send messages using cheaper but riskier routes. Sending a message from the Netherlands to India, for example, might cost less if the route took multiple hops from network to network. However, at each hop there’s a chance that the message will simply fall through the cracks. “KPN has high quality direct routing. That gives us great confidence that our messages will reach their intended recipients.”
How important can text messages be?
Launching in October there’ll be a new smart smoke detector that will use Olisto to enable users to send SMS alerts whenever the detector is triggered. That will mean that neighbors, for example, could check on a nearby apartment. In those circumstances, a reliable SMS API partner truly is vital.
Not just about delivery
And, as Tom explained, it’s not just about delivery. “Getting the KPN SMS API up and running was very straightforward. In just 2,5 hours we had a proof of concept. And we found that the KPN team really understood us not just as a start-up business but as a Dutch business. They’ve been great to work with.”
For Olisto, SMS is just the beginning, “One next step for us is to build voice capabilities into Olisto. As soon as the API Store has a voice API ready, then we’ll start work.”