Despite the fact that filters are used a lot in non-WebRTC video applications like Photo Booth and SnapChat, we haven’t seen many WebRTC applications using these types of filters. This is probably because it hasn’t really been possible… until now.
It has always been possible to apply filters to video streams locally using the OpenTok platform by rendering the video into a Canvas element. The problem with this approach has always been that the person on the other end does not see the filter unless you apply the same filter on both the publisher and subscriber video. This would mean significant CPU load if you are subscribing to multiple participants. It also means that you don’t get to see the filters in the Archives.
In today’s increasingly fragmented digital world, the way fans consume and engage with sports content has fundamentally changed. While teams may still win the hearts of loyal fans, sporting organizations and broadcasters aren’t capturing their attention like they once did.
To win the hearts, minds and eyes of the new generation of sports fans – who are always online, on mobile and on social – broadcasters are leveraging live video to create all new interactive and participatory fan engagement experiences.
As global access to the internet continues to grow we find ourselves in an increasingly connected world. Never in our collective history have so many people had the ability to access so much information about what is going on in the world around them. This has led to an unprecedented rise in engagement with current events, especially amongst the young people whose voracious appetite to rant, debate and ‘be heard’ has fueled the emergence of so many social media platforms.
I was talking with our old friend Philipp Hancke and discussing how it could be possible that 12% of the WebRTC calls were failing. This number came as a surprise to us as, based on our reports, the number of failures is significantly lower when it comes to OpenTok calls, even though the exact numbers depend on the specific use case you have.
So, we decided to grab some data and try to prove that WebRTC, at least in our platform, is doing a much better job.
When evaluating a new product or service, we know how important it is to be able to test out the technology first. Stakeholders in different areas of the business, both developers and non developers, need to see and understand how the technology works.
We’ve noticed that for customers evaluating the OpenTok platform, without using the API, it can be challenging to visualise your use case. Even when a developer works through our Quick Start Guide, there can be a need for additional implementation to build a custom proof of concept. All of this translates into time invested during the business’ evaluation phase of the product; worse yet, it can lead to an incomplete or inaccurate evaluation.
We’re excited to announce the release of the 2.8 OpenTok iOS and Android SDK. We’ve made significant improvements to audio/video quality, worked on bug fixes, as well as quality improvements introduced in the Google WebRTC M49 release. In order to improve the quality of these SDKs further, we’ve also rolled out some important patches, the details of which are below, including support for IPv6 for iOS.
Why traditional broadcasters need to adapt, fast
Cable companies and television networks can’t take a trick at the moment. As if digital disruption and cord cutting wasn’t making life tough enough, now comes the rise of participatory broadcasting, the phenomena where viewers collaboratively interact while consuming content, and maybe even participate.
Still coming to grips with on demand and online/mobile viewing, traditional broadcasters must now find a way to provide immersive and engaging viewer experiences to compete with the likes of Facebook Live, Meerkat and Periscope.
“Organizations that embrace rich, real time communication technologies, like WebRTC, reap indisputable benefits” (Business Success Through Embedded Communication Technology, a March 2016 study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by TokBox).
A new report from Forrester, commissioned by TokBox, has found that WebRTC is delivering significant value across core business functions for organizations across a range of industries. This should come as no surprise given the challenge that many organizations face to bridge the ever growing gap between colleagues, businesses, and their customers as more of what they do moves online.
The popular technology media would have us believe Flash is the worst technology flub since Windows Vista/Apple Maps. It is nothing but a giant security flaw and should never have existed. But pause for a moment and consider this – if it weren’t for Flash there would most likely be no Netflix, no Meerkat or Periscope, no YouTube, no Facebook Live.
You see, while these services may not have all been built on Flash originally, they all stand on the shoulders of the pioneering work Flash did around online video. So, while we’re all quick to celebrate its downfall and lament its many obvious flaws, let’s pause for a moment and remember that if not for the pioneers who inevitably make mistakes (Adobe with Flash perhaps more than most), there would be no progress.
Web Application Developers are used to being able to write automated tests for their applications and have them run with every PR and before deploying to production to give a level of confidence that things are not broken. OpenTok and real-time applications in general present new challenges when it comes to writing and running automated tests. There are challenges when it comes to getting access to microphones and cameras, testing multiple participants and installing the plugin for Internet Explorer among others.
There has been lots of work around WebRTC testing automation and our friends at rtc.io and &yet have written some great articles on the subject. However these articles don’t cover some of the specifics of testing OpenTok applications for example testing Internet Explorer and installing the OpenTok plugin for Internet Explorer. If you haven’t already I would recommend taking some time to read the articles by the folks at rtc.io and &yet before coming back to this. Also if you’re not familiar with Travis and Selenium WebDriver you might want to check those out too.