In the past several weeks we’ve seen the names Thor, Daala, VP9 and H.265 thrown in the news as potential candidates to replace our current generation of video codecs. How is that going to play out, and where are we headed with all this?
About a year ago we found ourselves scratching our heads trying to find a place that would give developers easier access to all of the tools that they need to get started with OpenTok. We already had a section for documentation but a lot of the tools and materials that we were working on didn’t really fit into the structure that we had. At the same time, we wanted to relaunch our website to better explain what TokBox can do for you, your product and your business.
As much as WiFi and cellular network reliability has improved over the years, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in a situation where connectivity drops or is spotty at best. Somehow in our overconnected world, “offline” mode still exists. When you’re using real-time communications technology, poor service or connection quality can be particularly disruptive.
That’s why we’re excited to introduce our Pre-Call Test tool – a set of tools that will determine if an end-user’s OpenTok-powered call will be successful given their network conditions. The Pre-Call Test can be integrated into your application’s workflow so that your end-users can run the diagnostic test before they even join the session. Based on their test results, you can implement business logic that determines whether a particular user is allowed to publish a stream to the session with video, audio-only mode, and more.
Today we’re thrilled to announce the launch of our powerful new session diagnostic tool, Inspector. It provides you with a high-level OpenTok session summary at a stream and user level to help pinpoint errors, failures, and quality issues. Our main goal? To simplify your post-session debugging.
Inspector takes the rich and complex operational data that the TokBox engineering team uses to debug OpenTok sessions, and makes it available to you in an easy to use interface. These vital metrics will enable you to drill down into session-level details around:
- Bit-rate, latency and packet loss graphs at user and stream level
- Event Logs (Detailed list and description of all session events)
- User Logs (Information such as location, SDK, browser and client)
- Error Logs (Details of all errors encountered, time of error and impacted end-users)
Now your technical support team can quickly glance through session data to determine whether an issue was caused by an end-user error, application error, network problem or the OpenTok platform.
From being used to assist in medical research labs to driving cars, you can see new possible uses of robots popping up in many different aspects of our lives. At TokBox we are particularly excited about telepresence robots and the ability to tap yourself into a different geographic location using real time communications. Combining powerful robotics with communications technology means that you can, effectively, be in two places at once.
It is now a possibility to add robotic motion to video applications – but why would you want to? Imagine a telepresence robot that lets you look around during video calls. Whether you are attending a meeting remotely, talking to your professors and peers in a classroom from afar, asking your doctor questions from home, or greeting people as a virtual receptionist, you can combine real time communications and robotic movement to be able to move and look around, and to interact with other people, almost as though you are there in person. These combined possibilities help to create a more true to life experience and is far more engaging on both ends of the call.
It was a great evening, with a range of speakers and topics from the WebRTC world. This month we heard from:
- Ankur Oberoi from Tokbox
- Hadar Weiss from Peer5
- Feross Aboukhadijeh from WebTorrent, PeerCDN
- Dr Alex from Temasys
You can watch a full recording of the event below and if you are interested in hearing more about meet up events at TokBox, you can join our meet up group here.
In addition to selecting a secure platform provider, it’s equally as important to architect your application in a secure way.
That’s why we created the “Best Practices: Building a Secure App with OpenTok” guide. This resource is designed to help you ask the right questions while developing your application, and provides best practice recommendations so that you can make informed decisions.
WebRTC is maturing and we can see the needs in the market evolving along with this.
However, with the increased need for rich, digital experiences comes the challenge of building more advanced applications. We know that building real-time video communications can be challenging, especially when it involves more than two participants. To pull off a multi-party call using WebRTC off-the-shelf you’ll need a strong backend infrastructure and a deep understanding of media processing. That’s why we are looking forward to exploring this topic with WebRTC expert, Tsahi Levent-Levi, founder of bloggeek.me, in our upcoming webinar.
When an issue is reported with an application, an early debugging step is to reproduce the problem. Because our platform is an API, and developers use it for many different kinds of applications, TokBox employees used to have to reproduce problems by building a new application for each new use case. After doing that a couple of times, we wizened up and started using pre-built sample applications as the starting point. This still meant that any functionality that wasn’t generic needed to be added in. What we really needed was an application that used a myriad of features we offered: Enter the TokBox Live Debugger.
The OpenTok.js SDK integrates beautifully into current HTML elements, providing a great variety of layouts and styles. But why should we stick to the traditional 2D design? Modern browsers offer us the power of 3D visualization with WebGL, a technology that has already opened up a new world of interaction and presentation of data within the browser domain.
With an objective to take advantage of the possibilities of 3D within the browser, we created the OpenTok 3D demo. The OpenTok 3D demo is a multi-party video application which shows how we can integrate the OpenTok.js API with WebGL technology using the three.js library. One of the objectives of this demo application is to inspire people building on top of the OpenTok.js SDK, showing them the beginning of endless possibilities on how we can present the video screens in a true 3D world. Cameras, lights, textures, rendering effects, and more, can be leveraged to enrich the final experience.