August 02, 2012

And The Gold Goes To...


There’s no arguing that the 2012 London Olympics are the most connected games ever. Via television, Web, radio or Twitter, the up-to-the-minute updates are pervasive. A sheer platitude of Olympic apps and gizmos offer up various bite-sized updates tailored to many tastes. All this, of course, comes courtesy of various APIs from news and other data sources. But are apps alone enough to deliver this data?

The Olympics have a unique interest to each viewer. Some may love aquatics or ping pong or even dressage. A new way to customize your Olympic experience caters to just this individual nature of following the games. Do we need one app, or do we need a whole rack of ingredients to customize our own experience of the games?

ESPN is linking up with their own scripts that provide the latest coverage of their tailored Olympic interests. The ESPN Olympics coverage channel is actually much more than that. It’s a perfect alert system for anyone’s dream Olympic experience down to the match, medal, score or update. Users can "trigger" alerts using any number of apps that will use ESPN’s Olympics data to let anyone be the first to know about the medal, world record, or even a custom keyword search.

In essence, this combination of APIs and app-like toppings makes data useful beyond the app, where one a perfect piece of information matters tremendously for one moment. Once the score or news is in your hands, it’s yours to do with it whatever you want. Many facts about the games will be shared, combined, filed away or even forgotten, but first they will feed that need for the right experience at the right time. Anyone can develop their own custom feed or app “recipe” tailored to their Olympics.

Try your own, or check out some of the IFTTT community’s pre-made recipes here.