Today, Adobe announced it will be end-of-lifing its LiveCycle Collaboration Services (LCCS) platform at the end of this year.
For developers and websites looking to integrate face-to-face video into their websites while avoiding the heavy lifting of building their own solution, our OpenTok platform and Adobe’s LCCS offering were the two leading Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) options. Now all the folks who chose Adobe – many of whom thought they were going with the “safe” alternative – are about to be left out in the cold.
At TokBox, business is booming. So how can it be that “changes in Adobe’s strategic direction” are moving them away from such a rapidly growing market?
At Le Web last week in Paris, Sean Parker predicted that the outcome of the 2012 US elections would be determined by social media.
I think he’s right. But what’s more, I think that next year’s election season will be the first in which face-to-face live video on the web will play a role in determining the outcome of some races.
In an increasingly online world, the web has provided new ways for candidates to reach voters in their constituencies. Candidates can communicate policy, deliver key messages on-demand, and reach out to campaign supporters. But the focus has been predominantly one-way – from candidate to constituent.
There is a dictum we use to sum up the major belief that drives all that we do at TokBox: Face to face is the future of the web.
In 2007, the company’s emphasis was very much on ‘the future’. Skype hadn’t yet moved into the mainstream. FaceTime did not exist – in fact, the first iPhone hadn’t yet been released. And yet, the TokBox team had a fundamental understanding that the way we communicate online would become more human, and that face to face was the most human form of communication possible over the web.
Many years ago, I came to Silicon Valley to work as an engineer at Apple and got my start in video with QuickTime 1.0 and QuickTime VR.
Apple was where I found out that design and technology can not only co-exist, they can multiply together in a marvelous kind of fusion. Even though I worked at Apple in the wilderness years – when Steve wasn’t with the company – that vision and focus on user experience was already deeply embedded in the DNA of the company.
Of all the things I learned at Apple, the fusion of design and technology, and the creative process that drives that fusion, were the most fundamental. For me, working at Apple created a deep-seated belief in the transcendent impact of a beautifully integrated user experience. That belief is why when I talk about my time at Apple, I often say: “You can take the engineer out of Apple, but you can’t take Apple out of the engineer.”
The big guys are duking it out again, and this time video chat is front and center. In the past few days Google unveiled Google+ with video “Hangouts”, Microsoft-owned Skype released the SkypeKit SDK and there is speculation that Facebook may announce next week it is bringing video chat to the social network.
There’s one thing missing in all of this. The web.
Google+ is surely a nice piece of work and Hangouts is great – and we love anything that makes video conversations more common – but these ‘new’ innovations are actually not new at all, they are alternatives to what we already have, just in a new location. They do nothing to help bring video chat to the web outside of the Hangout.
Over the last 24 hours, it seems like everyone on the planet has had something to share about the announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. Opinions have been voiced on everything from the price paid by Microsoft (too high?) to the potential product integrations (everything from Outlook to XBox.) However, one commenter really struck a chord with me when they started to voice a perspective of what this acquisition means for the future of face-to-face video communications.
Today, with the launch of OpenTok, we are setting out on a glorious mission: to bring rich, face-to-face human interaction to every corner of the web.
As Internet users, we all spend an enormous amount of time online. We do online all the things we used to do in the real world: shopping, dating, watching movies, and more. In the real world, these activities are predominantly social – but in the online world, they are often carried out solo, and we are all poorer for these hours we now spend alone.
OpenTok lets websites and developers turn solitary pursuits into group activities. It elevates social interaction from today’s IM and text-based constraints to the richness and engagement of face-to-face communication. And it lets anyone – from the smallest one-man garage shop to the largest IT shop on the planet – do it quickly, easily, and yes, it lets them do it for free.