Today we’re excited to announce OpenTok for Customer Service (OTCS). This is our first solution built on top of the OpenTok platform, and will make it faster and easier for our partners to implement face-to-face video chat for customer service applications.
Over the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to keep a close watch on use case trends in the video space. One common thread was present amongst the majority of the use cases that we encountered: customer service. Whether it was pre-sales support, post-sales customer assistance or expert consultations they all required some basic call functionality that wasn’t available through the standard OpenTok APIs.
Today, the OpenTok platform adds the Cloud Raptor SDK into the fold. Partners’ application servers can use the Cloud Raptor SDK to listen to the events and messages that pass through an OpenTok session. Accessing these events and messages on the application server makes it easier to integrate OpenTok logic with the application logic. (Prior to Cloud Raptor, OpenTok events and messages were only available on the client.)
Before today, building robust applications with the OpenTok platform meant writing a distributed application across many clients. The clients either synchronized between themselves, the partner sent back a lot of AJAX calls to their server, or the developer used a service like Parse. Now, with the Cloud Raptor SDK, OpenTok developers can have one OpenTok brain for their application – simplifying the development and extending the possibilities simultaneously.
Today, we are happy to announce yet another significant milestone in the technical evolution of the OpenTok platform – dynamic traffic shaping for audio and video through our Mantis infrastructure. We are now optimizing the experience for every participant in a multi-party call.
WebRTC is essentially defined as a peer-to-peer protocol for real-time browser-based communication. The problem is that countless real-world applications require multi-party support. So eight weeks ago we unveiled Mantis to solve this. Mantis is our next-generation cloud-scaling infrastructure that enables developers to deliver bandwidth-efficient multi-party WebRTC support.
Last weekend we ran a Family Guy Themed API Scavenger Hunt, and this was our question:
Peter Griffin wants to Video Chat with a well known Tech Consultant named Song Zheng to find out what tech trends he should invest in. After scouring the interwebz, a wise cat told him that Song is an evangelist at TokBox and his ApiKey is “25925352”. He is always connected to the session ‘2_MX4yNTkyNTM1Mn4xMjcuMC4wLjF-V2VkIE1heSAyOSAxNzoxMjozNyBQRFQgMjAxM34wLjk0MjQ2NjQ0fg’. To connect to that session, the wise cat has also intelligently acquired the access token:
To solve this puzzle, you would have to connect to Song’s session and subscribe to his video stream using WebRTC. You might also want to publish your video as well so he can see you.
We’re incredibly pleased to see Mozilla launch Firefox with WebRTC enabled by default. With Mozilla’s Firefox joining the WebRTC family, millions of people will have the opportunity to experience high-quality plugin-free face-to-face video within web applications.
This weekend is going to be an action packed Family Guy Themed API Scavenger Hunt!
Thanks to SignalFire‘s creative efforts , you will get to role play as a Family Guy character solving puzzles and winning points through reading documentation and using APIs to help you through your journey. The guys from Pearson Developers explains it best:
This tutorial will show you how to create a simple, yet functional video chatroom using the OpenTok API and Flask. Flask is a python based micro-framework to create web apps.
The app we’ll be creating will be a simple website which will allow you to instantly create a video chatroom.
So, let’s get started! First of all, you’ll need to install Flask. Then, create a new folder and inside, make a new file called main.py.
What happens when you take an API evangelist for OpenTok and introduce him to a bunch of developers in a place he’s never been to, for example Tel Aviv? Yeah, I had no idea either. It turns out that in a place like Tel Aviv, where there are some brilliant startups springing up, there’s no shortage of awesome developers with endless creativity.
TDHack, the first Telefonica Digital Israel hackathon, took place this past weekend. I saw it not only as an opportunity to go meet some our extended family, but to jump out of the American startup scene that I know so well and see how things are different (or the same) in Israel.
Here’s our dirty little secret: for the longest time, our little team here at TokBox never used TokBox to talk to each other. There was no need. We all worked together in our Wes Anderson-esque office in SOMA, ate lunch together around our big table, and went for coffee breaks together at Epicenter on Harrison Street.
Then last summer I moved to NYC. I learned quickly that it’s tough to get a team that doesn’t have a remote co-working culture to pick it up right away — not even a team that works on video chat. Desk drive-bys for quick questions became long IM threads. Impromptu meetings with the whiteboard became “oops we forgot to call you” or “dammit, I can’t see the whiteboard” fails. Casual lunch conversation became…nothing.
We got better at this, but the turning point was when Double Robotics loaned us a Double to beta test (Disclosure! TokBox powers the video component for Double). We affectionately named it J9000.
J9000 and I are about the same height.
We just launched Mantis yesterday, and saw a rush of activity as partners hopped onto the WebRTC cloud. The new things people will be able to build – a real-time, online dungeons and dragons web app, seminar applications, education applications, and more – are now going to see a whole new level of quality and experience. We’re really excited to be the face-to-face video platform that helps make this happen. But to make it happen more quickly, we’ve decided to write a quick Mantis checklist. To make your Mantis application work, you will need to:
- Make sure that you are using the OpenTok on WebRTC JS library. You can find the library here, and find the reference documentation here. If you are using the v1.1 JS library, you will need to update your application to the v2.0 library.
- Use a browser with WebRTC support – Chrome 26, FireFox Beta, or IE9 with the Google Chrome Frame plugin.
- When you generate a session, make sure that the p2p.preference flag is set to disabled. If you’re generating your sessions from the Developer Dashboard, then you will need to download one of our server-side SDKs and generate sessions yourself.
If you haven’t already asked to participate in the Mantis beta, please contact us. Then make sure that you are using the correct API key for the Mantis beta. If you are not sure which API key you sent us, then please email us, and we will let you know. Mantis requires that your API key be enabled to access the infrastructure.
- [UPDATE] Good news! As of 10/1/13 Mantis is available in production. That means you no longer have to email the TokBox team to request access. Mantis is subject to the new OpenTok platform pricing which you can review here. Free access to Mantis is available through our new 30-day free trial.
It really is that quick, and if you’re finding that you need some more help, then let us know. To make sure that your question gets answered as quickly as possible, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org using the following template: