NikeFuel API

Nike will unleash the application programming interface (API) for NikeFuel — the company’s metric for tracking physical activity — during a music hackathon Sunday at South by Southwest.

NikeFuel is the technology behind Nike’s FuelBand, a waterproof wristband introduced in January that measures a user’s movement and syncs with an iPod touch or iPhone.

The API will allow third-party music developers to infuse NikeFuel features into their apps or platforms.

“Nike will be joining the Managers Hack to open up a BETA version of the NikeFuel API for the first time to developers interested in combining music with the Nike+ FuelBand,” hackathon organizer and rep at startup Backplane told Mashable Friday.

Backplane, which created Lady Gaga’s new Little Monsters social network, along with music-streaming service Spotify organized the hackathon to build the future of digital music distribution.

SEE ALSO: Path Adds Nike+ Integration, Lets You Share Running Data With Friends
At the event, hackers have eight hours to create and plan a demo that will be judged by a panel of music industry managers, including Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter (who co-founded Backplane), Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun and Roc Nation President Jay Brown. People from Spotify, Pandora, Nike and SoundHound also will help choose a winner.

The Managers Hack will be live streamed (see video below) starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Randi Zuckerberg, who left her role as marketing director at Facebook in August to launch RtoZ Media, will provide commentary throughout the event.

What Is Nike+ FuelBand?


Nike+ FuelBand

The Nike+ FuelBand is a new wristband that tracks a metric that Nike has developed called “Fuel,” which measures all physical activity across sports.

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What Is NikeFuel?

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The self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports” launched the ESPN Developer Center on Monday, for the first time allowing software developers to use APIs providing a plethora of information from around the sports universe.

“The play for us is making sure we have our content in all these different digital ecosystems,” Jason Guenther, ESPN’s vice president of digital media technology, told Mashable last week. “Connected devices are only going to proliferate in every aspect of life, so it’s important that we can reach fans no matter the product or place.”

ESPN’s Headlines API is now available to the public through the Developer Center. It connects apps to ESPN’s huge amount of daily news stories, columns and analysis pieces covering a wide rage of sports leagues, teams and athletes. The Research Notes API is available for ESPN partners and gives access to historical notes, trivia and factoids.

Foursquare got special permission to use a version of the Research Notes API last August, and provides an example of how ESPN’s treasure trove of data will enhance other apps. When Foursquare users check into a sports-related event or location, they can receive relevant bits of complementary information courtesy of ESPN. Pulse and Flipboard have also been using ESPN APIs already.

Other APIs are still in private beta but should become more widely available soon. One organizes daily logistical information such as scores, schedules and venues. Another updates league and division standings, and others provide feeds to information on teams and players.

“The end result is that you can create any experience with any device with the information we give you,” Chris Jason, director of ESPN’s API program, said in an interview.

But Jason and Guenther say the Developer Center and API program aren’t just designed to provide ESPN content and information to outside developers. They emphasize that the initiatives also streamline and strengthen ESPN’s in-house development processes. Like many media companies, ESPN has increased its digital emphasis in the past few years, and recently held a multi-site hackathon to help speed innovation.

“One thing I’m most proud of is these APIs shining a light on some of the talent we have internally and giving them an easier road to create new products for the company,” Jason said.

The Headlines API is free for non-commercial use in apps performing up to 2,500 API calls per day. As outside apps that use ESPN APIs increase in user base, developers enter individual partnership agreements with the company. If you want to use ESPN’s new APIs, visit the Developer Center and request a developer key.

Do you think this is a smart move by ESPN? Let us know in the comments.

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Each day, Mashable highlights one noteworthy YouTube video. Check out all our viral video picks.

Blake Griffin’s gargantuan dunk over Kendrick Perkins was so big you need to see it to believe it — at least that’s what the Twitterverse is saying.

Variations of “Blake Griffin” and “Kendrick Perkins” have trended on Google and Twitter since the Los Angeles Clippers power forward soared over the Oklahoma City Thunder center. Griffin scored 22 points in the game for the Clippers, who beat the Thunder 112-100.

The shot sent the stadium — and Twitterverse — into wild eruption Monday evening, in what many are calling the Dunk of the Year. Onlookers shared videos and photos of the shot, and compared it to the super-human likes of Superman and Michael Jordan in Space Jam.

This isn’t the first time Griffin has impressed the crowds with his dunking ability. The 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year was the NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion at the 2011 All-Star Game.

SEE ALSO: 10 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for Sports Fans

But of course, for every great play, there are those that are saying they’ve seen better.

Do you think Griffin’s dunk deserved the Twitter excitement or would you say it’s just your average one-handed leaping shot over another player’s head? Let us know in the comments if you think Griffin deserves the Dunk of the Year hype.

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