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Unhackathon + = Awesomeness

Posted by David

Not long ago, sponsored Unhackathon, our first college hackathon of the new season, and it was a blast! The organizers did a great job of making an event that focused on being inclusive and beginner friendly. It was refreshing for the focus to not be on huge prizes and overemphasized competition as is common these days. Between the awesome food, an amazing venue at AlleyNYC and the creative side events like participants being able to paint their own t shirts - Unhackathon was a huge success. It was also a great weekend for, with 11 hacks built on our API!


It was a small event and was the only API sponsor. That meant I had to hustle like never before to help hackers out, but it was worth having all eyes on us when it came to people thinking of hack ideas! There were two winners in each prize category and both of the prizes for “most entertaining hack” went to teams who used the API. Here are some of the coolest things that were built using over the weekend:


Sweet Depression (Most entertaining hack award)

This is one of the coolest hacks I’ve seen in a while! The basic idea is that you give it your information (address, credit card, email, twitter handle, etc) and it will periodically perform sentiment analysis on your tweets. If your tweets are sad over time, it will use the API to order desserts for you. I am close friends with the members of this team, and know that they are some bad ass hackers! I’ve been looking forward to what they would do with the API, and they certainly did not disappoint.


RapEats (Most entertaining hack award)

Here is another hilariously awesome project. Made by two Rutgers hackers, including the new director of HackRU. This one is a chrome extension that replaces your new tab window. With RapEats, whenever you open a new tab, food is suggested to you based on rap lyrics. Using the Rap Genius API, as well as some hilarious pictures from a Tumblr page called Pictures of Rappers Eating, lyrics containing food items are displayed along with a box for you to order the food that was mentioned in the song. Many laughs were had with this at Unhackathon!


Voice Ordr

This allows you to order food via voice recognition! You just say what food you want, and it will figure out what you said and place an order for you. I think they only made it work in the terminal, given the time restrictions, but I am looking forward to when this gets polished and thrown into production!


Spoons and Tunes

What struck me about this one was that it made Spotify playlists for upcoming music events, and ordered you food based on the genre of the performer to get you in the mood for a concert. They used 3 different APIs in this one, and API mashups are always cool for hackathons!


Ordrin Filesystem

This hack is seriously kick ass! Built by two Rutgers hackers who are also hackNY fellows, OrdrinFS creates a unix filesystem using data from the API. These two always tear it up at hackathons, so I was excited when they told me they wanted to hack on the API. Each restaurant’s menu manifests itself as files and directories, and you can place orders by writing to an “” file! The results of your order are then written to a file called “ordr.out.” This is pure genius!



This one was a solo hack, and it is pretty crazy. Written entirely in C, it is a trojan that you can control via an IRC chatroom. The idea is that if your friend leaves a computer unattended, you will run this code, and whatever people say to the chatbot will happen to your friend’s computer. There were about a dozen different things you can do, including opening the CD drive(if there is one), but you could also have food delivered to your friend without them realizing what happened. It is apparent that a lot of fun was had in the making of this hack.

Unhackathon was awesome - I had a great time helping hackers out and meeting a ton of new people! We are all super excited to be at this upcoming HackRU! I can’t wait to see how people continue to come up with crazy awesome use cases for the API.


-- Sam Agnew - Dev Evangelist - @SagnewShreds


One word about CalHacks: Holy Cow that was Cool

Posted by David

Last weekend Jason Teplitz, former intern & genius evangelist represented at Cal Hacks. Huge shout out to the organizers! There were over 1,500 hackers there, and the event was amazing. Smoooooth runnings. Here are some of the coolest hacks built on

  • Spazz4fudz, the winner of best use of the API, orders food Twitch Plays Pokemon style. Fight against your friends, by mashing on the arrow keys to force the penguin towards the restaurant that you like. Once the penguin hits a restaurant, you can order food from it with the widget. Check out the video. 

  • SmartBox was a physical box that could detect your mood and respond to requests. Among those requests: “Order me food” would launch the widget.
  • KnapSack is an iOS app that remembers your budget and location so that you can order a randomized meal within your price range at the press of a button. Gold star to Shreyas Kalyan who, while working on Knapsack, upgraded the swift library to be compatible with the newest version of Xcode.
  • OrderBot allows you to text a number with your food request and it would order it for you. Natural language processing, SMS, and food. Yum!
  • feedMe saves all your information and picks a random restaurant near you. At the press of a button you can either order a randomized meal from that restaurant, or order an uber to take you there. For most of the team this was their first webapp. We were pumped that they chose to learn webdev on the API.

Nearly half of these hacks were built using the widget, which is now new and improved thanks to Polina.  Enjoy the cool pics, especially the LIGHTSABRES we gave out as prizes.  Can’t wait to see what people build with it at HackRU this weekend!



The new widget is powerful like a bionic unicorn

Posted by David

Seriously. A bionic unicorn with a rainbow tail. And we have our developer Polina Viro to thank.


Our embeddable widgets adds a menu just like you'd add a youtube video - with a few lines of javascript and html. You can let your users to either search for a restaurant - either with or without a default address, or go directly to ordering from a restaurant specified by the restaurant ID.

The new widget allows for selecting which restaurant to order from: you can now input your address and check out the list of all restaurants that potentially deliver to your location (as well as see which ones are open and closed at the given time). In addition, if you’re embedding the widget, you may choose to prefill the delivery address for your customer. In that case, you’re immediately taken to the restaurant select page (with an option to change the delivery address).

Second, there is now a single widget. Old-timers will remember how there were two widgets - one for mobile, and one for web views. Now there is a single, responsive widget in the place of the two - the mobile view being activated for widths under 810px, and the web view for anything wider than that.

Thanks, Polina!



We are soon retiring our developer t-shirts

Posted by David

Time for something new, but the message on the back is eternal. If were this cool with our first shirts imagine the second set. Woooeee! 


Come to CalHacks

Posted by David

We are psyched to sponsor CalHacks- our first west coast hackathon. If you are going look for Jason Teplitz, our dev evangelist, who will be working the event. He has stickers, t-shirts for teams working with our API and will give out very, very cool prizes for the best the and most fun hacks.

Before you crack your first redbull get familiar with the API on our Dev Portal and fire any questions to 

We are not screwing around. Both winning teams will get one of a kind, never to be reprinted custom hoodies. And the grand prize winner will be Force FX Lightsabres.  

Node. It is your destiny.

Node. It is your destiny.


Life, Startups and Everything

Posted by David

We were thrilled to be interviewed by Matylda Czarnecka of New York Internet Week. The conversations covered many things, especially the life of a startup and the lives in a startup. 

Everything is harder than you expect it to be and everything is more awesome as well.
— Felix Sheng, CTO

Let us know what you think.


We Love Push for Pizza!

Posted by David

When awesome people user our API to build awesome apps, we get giddy with joy. Please enjoy the Push for Pizza video, download the app and eat eat eat! 


Hacking the dining experience

Posted by David is psyched to participate in FoodTech Connect's Hack Dining this weekend. We shared these thoughts with them. Reposted here.


In the old days hungry diners like me had relatively few places to learn about restaurants and low expectations for the experience when we sat down. Not that we thought the food would be blah or the service indifferent, but that, more or less, you sit down and follow the script as given. Want sauce on the side? You are one of those kinds of people. Most of us stayed in line.

Today tons of information- from Yelp reviews to health department scores- focus our attention on small differences between restaurants.

There is a yawning gap between a diner’s information and a restaurant’s. This is where the dining experience needs to be hacked.

I choose my restaurant based on many factors- location, cuisine, price. Am I eating alone on the road or close to home with my kids? Looking for someplace familiar or new? As a rule of thumb I will eat in a specific restaurant about every six weeks. All those other meals? Your experience didn’t align with my interests.

The restaurant on the other hand, is standing in line next to all the others, hoping to get picked like a 4th grader in gym class. A restaurant menu changes seasonally, if that. Customers change by the hour.

The ultimate hack is unlocking data to create a service experience that is about me, the customer, not what the chef and manager dreamed up before opening for business.  The more you know about what I want in the moment I want it, the more orders you’ll get from me.  A huge opportunity for your bottom line.

I’m not suggesting overhauling your menu for each customer every day. I am thinking about all the ways you interact with a customer- the email newsletter, social media, how well you understand my order history to remind me of what I love about you. Maybe the food too. Find me where I am online and let me order- don’t force me to come to you.

This kind of hack would make me happy and dine with you more often. All those extra orders will flow to your bottom line. We should all get behind this. And start hacking.