The next generation of Virtual Reality

tokbox-inc_markTokBox is happy to announce our first meetup of 2015.  This month we will be hearing from Josh Carpenter, Virtual Reality Researcher at Mozilla, who will be talking about bringing the open web to Virtual Reality.

The Mozilla VR team believes that the attributes that define the web—interoperability, accessibility, low friction publishing, freedom of navigation, etc—are sorely needed in the emerging modern VR platform, and that the creative potential of the combination of web + VR is unprecedented. In this talk, Josh will focus on a how we might build a new generation of real time collaboration experiences, powered by technologies like WebRTC and WebVR.

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Be My Eyes: Connecting blind people with sighted helpers via video

bemyeyes-logoWhile blind people are able to go about their day just like anyone else, simple everyday tasks can often present challenges. Whether it’s identifying the right public transit route for a commute, checking the expiration date of a carton of milk, or grabbing the right ingredients from the pantry for a meal, it may require assistance.

Founder of non-profit organization Be My Eyes, Hans Jørgen Wiberg, spent three years working for the Danish Blind Society consulting people about how to cope with visual impairment. Wiberg, who is visually impaired himself, found one common thread among all of the people he worked with: while the visually impaired often lean on friends and family to help them overcome everyday hurdles, they at times feel guilty asking for assistance. If they just ‘had a pair of eyes’ once or twice a day, they could accomplish a whole lot more on their own, without leaning on those closest to them.

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Firefox Hello now available for all Firefox users

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 4.53.15 PM

Today the latest version of Firefox Hello, powered by OpenTok, has been released. In the coming weeks, Firefox Hello will appear at the top right hand corner (chrome) of your Firefox browser, making it easier than ever to start a call.

Mozilla has produced a new product video that demonstrates Firefox Hello in action (included below). For further information you can read the Mozilla blog post here, as well as copied below.

We hope you enjoy using Hello and look forward to sharing more updates with you soon.

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The Future of WebRTC and Video Banking: 4 Use Cases

The Future of WebRTC and Video Banking: 4 Use CasesWhen people think about banks, the thoughts that spring to mind are images of serious people in conservative suits, large buildings with marble-floored lobbies and rows of teller windows, and well-fed men who look like the guy on a Monopoly box. Indeed, leading banks have always worked hard to maintain stellar reputations for reliability, safety, and longevity. You don’t tend to think about banks being big risk-takers, or experts at trying out new business practices or cutting edge technologies.

But when you look a little closer, the truth is, leading banks are expert at understanding and taking calculated risks, which is essential to their core business of taking deposits from some customers and prudently loaning out those funds to others. They are also remarkably forward-looking in trying out new technologies and business innovations, even if they don’t always portray themselves this way.

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ConceptBoard: The Future of Remote Working Tools

cb_logo_300ppiIn the past decade, technology innovation has been one of the main catalysts for change in the way that we work. Tools like email, instant messaging, Skype, productivity and task management systems are making it easier than ever to stay connected (and focused) outside of the office – whether you’re at home, a coffee shop, or in a plane, train or automobile.

According to one estimate by the American Community Survey, telecommuting has risen 79 percent between 2005 and 2012 and now makes up 2.6 percent of the American work force, or 3.2 million workers. Two+ years later, you can imagine how much this has increased. 

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Adam Ullman goes to SydJS

SydJSIn October our Director of API & Front End Engineering, Adam Ullman, attended the SydJS meetup to talk about ‘Really Timely Communication’.

At the event Adam talked about the future of video communication; going beyond just a single generic Skype-like application and towards lots of applications tailored for specific use cases.  He started out live coding a generic Skype-like app using OpenTok (in under 20 minutes!), which works across web, desktop and mobile.  He then went on to introduce some of the more innovative and exciting use cases of the OpenTok platform.

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Firefox Hello Launches in Beta 35: Help Test Simplified Calling

mozilla beta logoFollowing Mozilla’s announcement of the release of Firefox Hello in beta in October, the company has now announced the roll out of the service into the general release version of Firefox 34. This post relates to the release of “Hello” into version 35 of the Firefox Beta browser.

The result of a partnership between Mozilla and Telefónica, and leveraging the OpenTok Platform, Firefox Hello allows people to make video calls directly within the browser, with or without an account.

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The Eternal WebRTC Video Codec Debate – Consensus Finally!

Snail crossing finish line“Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.”  – Bertrand Russell

The world has indeed changed in the last year as WebRTC has made massive strides both from a standardization and from a market adoption point of view. A whole host of innovative applications are succeeding on mobile and desktop end-points.

But despite another 12 months of progress, one of the key points of contention that remained stubbornly unresolved was the great video codec debate: Should VP8 or H.264 be the Mandatory-to-Implement Video Codec for WebRTC? It was a welcome and surprising move that led the IETF Working Group to finally arrive at the following consensus just last week:

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The TokBox Team at WebRTC Conference & Expo

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 11.07.53 AMHere at TokBox we are preparing for the fifth WebRTC expo, taking place in San Jose next week from 18-20 November.

Since the last WebRTC expo in June, there has been a lot of action in the market;

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Why do we care about ORTC?

ORTCFor those who might not know (and are still interested in the topic?) ORTC, Object RTC, is an initiative that was started one year ago by a group of people who were not comfortable with the approach taken for the design of the WebRTC APIs.  This group recently published the first official draft of an alternative API including support from very relevant people from Google and Microsoft.

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