StartupXLR8R II

We will be at StartupXLR8R II in Maryland this weekend June 4-5.

The startupXLR8R will included both an invitation only code-sprint + pitch track, as well as an open un-conference for entrepreneurs.

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How WorldWide Virtual Theater Carrousel used OpenTok

Guest Post

Sering is a community based theater company that sets up cultural projects for schools. They share their knowledge with other theater companies around the world. Although they make use of internet to communicate, they couldn’t find a solution that fitted their needs. They wanted a social platform that allows small groups of admins to work distribute initial content and let the project grow through a large number of participants.

Existing tools like e.g. Basecamp were found too complex in setup. So we (duall.be and skylight.be) built a custom solution for them that fitted their needs and named it a “virtual office”. One of the many requests was the ability to organize a grouped video chat between the project managers and the participants. And with that -since it’s a global community of children and adults who don’t necessarily speak each other languages- the ability to automatically translate text-chat to the users language.

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*Snap*, *snap*, *snap* with OpenTok

One of our first partner applications took OpenTok videos and turned them into a virtual photo booth. Meet me under the MistleToe is one of our favorites here at TokBox. They were one of our early users of the AS3 library, which gives developers a little more power because they can access the video feeds and do really fun things with them.

We didn’t want our JS developers to be left out in the cold, and so we’ve added video stream snapshot functionality to the OpenTok API. What would one use snapshots for you ask?

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Hoot.Me made DreamIt!

We are thrilled – thrilled! – for our friends at Hoot.Me, who made it into the inaugural batch of NYC startups in DreamIt Venture’s accelerator program. Hoot.Me brings video conferencing (yes, with OpenTok, *blush*) to study groups on Facebook and makes it even better with smart (text) chat and screen sharing in the browser.  (More about why we love them so much here.)

We’re going to be at TechCrunch Disrupt and want to meet more big-dreaming entrepreneurs like Michael and Sid at Hoot.Me.  We hear there are a bunch of you in NYC.  Come find us at our booth to see if OpenTok can be leveraged to fulfill the key value proposition of your application (or hang out and say hi, whichever).

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Using signals to pass real-time data

Problem

You are developing a multi-user OpenTok application and you need a way to pass data between user in real-time.

Solution

Use Session.signal() to notify user when there is new data on the server to be retrieved.

Tutorial Overview

In this tutorial I will show you how to implement this solution by creating a simple chat app that uses OpenTok signals to pass data between users in an OpenTok session. The app will allow connected users to communicate through both video chat and text chat.

I will use Rails for the backend portion of the app, however this technique can be applied to any server-side technology. I also use jQuery for DOM manipulation and AJAX and the OT_LayoutContainer class created and explained in this blog post for managing the layout of the video streams.

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API Hack Day Chicago

Saturday, May 28 we will be at API Hack Day Chicago.

API Hack Day brings developers together for an all-day coding fest focused on building apps with APIs. Developers of all experience levels can share ideas, collaborate on projects, start new ventures and find out about great tools and new APIs to play with.

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TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon

Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 TokBox will be at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon.

Fueled by pizza, beer and RedBull, the hackathon event will begin Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning, May 21st – 22nd. Then after a lightning round of demos and judging Sunday afternoon, the winning team will present onstage at Disrupt on Wednesday, May 25th. This is a great opportunity for superstar hackers to share the spotlight alongside the top startups chosen from Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield.

If you’re at the event, stop by our “Getting Started with OpenTok” workshop on Saturday afternoon.

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P-p-p-poker Face

Whether it’s the bead of sweat dripping down your opponent’s forehead, or a nervous twitch forcing their leg up and down like a piston, in a game of poker you want to see it all. For online poker players, these real-world cues were completely lost, until now.

With the launch of PokerView‘s WebCam Poker games, powered by the OpenTok API, the gap between real-world and virtual game interaction is being bridged. They are the first site to fully dedicate itself to the concept of live WebCam poker games.

How exactly does it work? Instead of a screen-name, avatar or chat-box, each player has a streaming video next to their hand. Now you can see your opponents mugs for better or worse.

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Microsoft + Skype != open standard for video chat

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.

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Music Hack Day Recap

This last weekend we hosted Music Hack Day at our office in San Francisco. As a result of a collaborative effort on behalf of the people at Music Hack Day, the Echo Nest, SoundCloud, Song Kick, the TokBox team, and many others, the event was an astounding success. More than 150 developers showed up to create 55 awesome hacks over the weekend.

Music Hack Day @ TokBox HQ. Image provided by Thomas Bonte.

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