10 Things You Didn’t Know JavaScript Could Do

By Chris Minnick, Eva Holland

JavaScript has more to it than meets the eye. As you begin programming, you wull discover just howversatile it is. Here are ten things that JavaScript can do that you may not have known about:

  • Make better TV: The Yahoo! ConnectedTV platform allows programmers to write TV apps using JavaScript. Apps built with Yahoo!’s platform can run on a variety of different smart TVs. TV apps let you create dynamic Internet services and deliver them to the video or television-viewing audience.

  • Make coffee: In one of the more important developments in JavaScript-enabled devices, Caffeine-4-Me is a program, written in JavaScript, that interacts with a hardware controller to turn a coffee pot on and off through a website interface.

  • Fly a drone: AR.Drone WebFlight is a web application for controlling the AR.Drone 2.0 using your web browser. WebFlight supports plugins that can do everything from recording video of your flights to facial recognition.

  • Control a robot: Use your JavaScript expertise to manipulate robots! NodeBots is a community of programmers and robot enthusiast who get together at events around the world and hack robots using JavaScript. What could be more fun? How about an entire day dedicated to JavaScript controlled robots? Well, it just so happens that July 27 is international NodeBots day!

  • Video conference without plugins: WebRTC (Web Real-time Communications) is an open source project that’s creating the standards that give web browsers and mobile applications real-time communication capabilities. Some of the companies behind WebRTC include Google, Mozilla, and Opera.

  • Create native mobile apps: Apache Cordova is a set of APIs that allow mobile app developers to create native apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Because they’re developed using platform-independent languages, apps built with Cordova can be deployed to multiple mobile operating systems with minimal effort.

  • Write apps for Google Glass: Google Glass is Google’s Internet-connected eyewear. Because it uses the Android operating system, developing apps for Glass requires developers to use specialized Android software development tools. WearScript lets you create Google Glass applications using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript so you can develop, test, and release new programs faster and more easily.

  • Use virtual reality with JavaScript: Leap Motion combines a motion detection controller with JavaScript to allow programmers to create virtual reality applications or to allow people to use existing websites and apps using virtual reality. Examples of apps that have been developed for Leap Motion include a chess game, a hands-free recipe app, a virtual reality sculpting app, and numerous games.

  • Report the weather: EnviroReport is a JavaScript application that works with a Tessel hardware device and sensors to report the current temperature and humidity.

  • Create a Clap Switch: Few inventions are more important or iconic than the clap-activated switch. Built using JavaScript and the Tessel hardware controller, the Tessel Clap-Switch has but one function: to turn something on when you clap and then to turn it off when you clap again.