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Some of Today’s Most Interesting Ways to Use JavaScript

Back in the days of old, which is roughly 10 years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find ways to implement JavaScript other than on the browser. Since its release in 2009, however, Node.js started a journey that allowed JavaScript to be run on the server side. While it isn’t known if the intention was to make JavaScript implementation more flexible, the game-changing JavaScript environment opened up new ways to use the programming language. Now, from controlling quadrotors to building robots and native apps, JavaScript is more versatile than ever for developers who want to think outside the box.

To explore the interesting ways to use JavaScript, here are some pretty cool applications for the language.

Bleep Bloop

An increasing number of developers have been experimenting with hardware. And with the proliferation of Arduino boards in the market as well as their growing number of variants and components, custom robot building is becoming more accessible than ever. JavaScript developers who delve into tinkering with robotics have formed groups such as Nodebots that promote and experiment with building custom robotics. They host events and meetups the world over and developers can huddle up, acquire knowledge, and bring their creations to life with JavaScript. Check out NodeBots to see if they’re coming to an area near you.

VR is Now

For a concept birthed so many decades ago, true immersive VR is finally within everyone’s reach. JavaScript taps into this emerging tech trend by enabling developers to create VR experiences using the programming language combined with HTML. A-Frame is an open-source framework that lets developers write 3D maps for VR headsets, giving them the freedom to help people see places and have experiences they never thought were possible. Best of all, 3D scenes will be viewable across devices like desktop, mobile devices, and most importantly VR headsets.

OS

Building an entire operating system using JavaScript used to be a pretty bonkers idea but ever since the proof-of-concept for NodeOS surfaced, the whole idea seems pretty credible. What’s more, the only way to install packages into the OS is through NPM. The ultimate goal of the project is not only to run on true hardware like desktops and notebooks but cloud services as well.

Taking to the Skies

Another area where JavaScript is now applicable is controlling drones. NodeCopter started around 2012 and is a whole day event where 15-60 developer teams of 3 are handed one Parrot AR Drone 2.0. The developers then spend the day tinkering and programming the drone and then present their work to the other teams. If you’re more of a DIY tinkerer, you can take to the skies with JavaScript by using the ar-drone NPM package to get your drone whizzing by with just a few lines of code.

Native Apps

While mobile apps within webviews aren’t anything new, they also aren’t native. With projects like React Native, JavaScript apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone can run nimbly on their respective OS. This is great for veteran JavaScript devs who have always wanted to create mobile apps made entirely from JavaScript. The result is a real native app that is superior to web apps, hybrid apps, and HTML5 mobile apps of yore.

Like many technologies, JavaScript is capable of evolving with the times. There are plenty more ways to apply JavaScript to control stuff in the real world, so if you’ve got anything we haven’t mentioned, feel free to tell us about it in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Published in Consumer Technology Development

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