WebRTC Demo Day! Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard of WebRTC. A few weeks ago, Google unleashed Chrome 23 which has WebRTC and PeerConnection support. This is really exciting because everyone on chrome (and IE users with Chrome Frame plugin) can now experience the next generation of communication via live video. Today is the day to experience it. Simply go to https://OpenTokRTC.com and join a room! If you’re lucky, you might catch a few WebRTC Streams from iOS devices.
There’s irony in being a cloud provider when a major piece of your infrastructure lies below sea-level. Of course, the premise behind the cloud is that you never have to think about the underlying physical location of your servers. If a flood were to happen in a critical network hub, say New York City, it should in theory have no impact on a cloud service (because, you know—clouds are in the sky).
As Hurricane Sandy forecasts came in, our ops team began to consider what impact it might have on our service. We had two options: A) keep our NYC servers as they were and hope that power and connectivity would remain intact, or B) take our NYC servers out of rotation and direct that traffic elsewhere.
Nearly 7 months ago, we publicly announced that the OpenTok API would extend its reach to native mobile application developers by publishing the OpenTok iOS SDK. In the time since, we have tightened the performance of the SDK runtime for iOS devices and spent a good deal of time learning about how best to deliver video to the mobile platform. While iOS commands a large portion of the mobile app market, it is intuitive that we should build similar SDKs for other popular platforms outside of the browser. It is a pleasure to announce that we are developing the OpenTok Android SDK, to allow native Android developers to bring live video chat to their apps.
With all the excitement going on with webRTC and iOS interoperability, I’m sure many are excited to get started. If you don’t have time to navigate through the docs, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’m going to show you how to get started! If you didn’t know already, webRTC is a new HTML5 spec for interactive media streaming on the web.
Browser to Browser
A new standard is making its way into web browsers and other clients around the world over the next few months that will likely change the way that we communicate with each other. WebRTC (Real-Time Communication) is a set of protocols and technologies that have been proposed to allow modern web browsers (currently Chrome 23 has support) to embed live audio/video communications without a plugin like flash.
Over the last few months we’ve been hard at work on a new variant to our iOS Video SDK, which we’re dubbing the OpenTok WebRTC for iOS SDK.
In the world of video WebRTC is a really big deal. The quality increase we’ve seen in WebRTC video versus our current Flash SDK is pretty phenomenal. For instance, video latency is typically less than 250ms under most network conditions. This is important to maintain a flowing conversation and avoid talking over other people on the call. Video quality is also noticeably better. The framerate and resolution are higher and adjusted dynamically over time to take advantage of the bandwidth and device capabilities that’s available between the clients.
I am very excited today to announce our first major product release since being acquired by Telefónica Digital (@tefdigital) only two weeks ago. While we’re not in the habit of tooting our own horn, we’re pretty darn pleased with this release and what it means for the future.
Today we are releasing OpenTok on WebRTC, the first solution for developers that brings high quality face-to-face video straight out of the box to Google’s Chrome 23 and, perhaps even more of a breakthrough, the first to support WebRTC on iOS.
This newest release of OpenTok leverages WebRTC and native websockets, and marries high-quality audio/video with our own high-performance and highly scalable Rumor messaging framework, It does this at the same time as reducing client weight and driving faster connection startup times. You can experience it firsthand here.
Today we’d like to introduce you to the lovely team over at TechChange. They provide online technology training for social change on topics including emergency management, digital organizing, and mobile phones for international development. They’ve been kind enough to write up a blog about their use of OpenTok that makes for an excellent read. Enjoy!
The Value of Real-Time Video: How OpenTok Has Improved Our Online Engagement
I have some great news to share with you – TokBox has been acquired by Telefónica Digital (@tefdigital), an ambitious, innovative global communications company. We’ve gotten to know Telefónica over the last couple of years as they have experimented with OpenTok — and with our push into mobile this year, that relationship has heated up. As we put our heads together and looked at where we each think communications is going, we’ve decided that teaming up is the best way for us to deliver on our game-changing vision.
This past weekend (September 8-9), TechCrunch held the 2012 Disrupt Hackathon at The Concourse at San Francisco Design Center. It was an amazing event, featuring over 150 projects on Saturday and Sunday.
TokBox was one of 17 sponsors for the Hackathon, where 151 teams spent 24 hours through Saturday and Sunday working on projects with as many APIs as they could. Many prizes were on the line – from iPhone 5s to MacBook Airs to cold hard cash and a chance to present at the Startup Battlefield during the week, everyone was out in full force. TokBox had 5 members building projects and networking with hackers and had a great time. At final count during the presentations, they were 9 teams that built using the OpenTok API (including 2 in-house apps). Some of the cool ones included:
After getting some much-needed rest, there was much fun to be had at the actual Disrupt conference, featuring big names like Kevin Rose, Mark Zuckerberg, Jessica Alba, Michael Arrington and more! Not only did we get enough shirts and shwag to represent a different startup for every day of the month, but we met some really cool partners, featured on the battlefield, and they were: