The Future of Field Services and WebRTC: 3 Use Cases

The Future of Field Services & WebRTC: Use Cases and BenefitsOne of the fun things about running a communications platform company is watching new use cases emerge as companies and developers innovate using our technologies.

Several months ago, we began to notice a new trending mode of use of WebRTC in the area of Field Service enablement. I’ve also heard people describe it as remote workforce applications, or even fleet management systems.

The key concept is that a field worker – someone who goes onsite to a customer location to effect a repair, make an inspection, or deliver or pick up products, uses some sort of a computer or electronic device as an essential tool for that onsite visit. Increasingly these devices are smartphones or tablets.

It’s predicted that by 2018, 70% of mobile workers will use a tablet or a hybrid device that has tablet-like characteristics. (Source: RapidValue Solutions)

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Can Meerkat be more Snapchat than Yo?

meerkat

Hype used to be what every new app developer wanted, until it became a euphemism for flash in the pan. Meerkat and Periscope are so hot right now, as evidenced by the breathless fan boy bloggers and the equally breathless declarations of their death (in particular Meerkat’s).

This current iteration of native mobile live video streaming has captured the attention of the media and also the general public. Is this a game-changing and sustainable phenom, or a flash in the pan?

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Firefox Hello now available for all Firefox users

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Today the latest version of Firefox Hello, powered by OpenTok, has been released. In the coming weeks, Firefox Hello will appear at the top right hand corner (chrome) of your Firefox browser, making it easier than ever to start a call.

Mozilla has produced a new product video that demonstrates Firefox Hello in action (included below). For further information you can read the Mozilla blog post here, as well as copied below.

We hope you enjoy using Hello and look forward to sharing more updates with you soon.

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The Future of WebRTC and Video Banking: 4 Use Cases

The Future of WebRTC and Video Banking: 4 Use CasesWhen people think about banks, the thoughts that spring to mind are images of serious people in conservative suits, large buildings with marble-floored lobbies and rows of teller windows, and well-fed men who look like the guy on a Monopoly box. Indeed, leading banks have always worked hard to maintain stellar reputations for reliability, safety, and longevity. You don’t tend to think about banks being big risk-takers, or experts at trying out new business practices or cutting edge technologies.

But when you look a little closer, the truth is, leading banks are expert at understanding and taking calculated risks, which is essential to their core business of taking deposits from some customers and prudently loaning out those funds to others. They are also remarkably forward-looking in trying out new technologies and business innovations, even if they don’t always portray themselves this way.

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Firefox Hello Launches in Beta 35: Help Test Simplified Calling

mozilla beta logoFollowing Mozilla’s announcement of the release of Firefox Hello in beta in October, the company has now announced the roll out of the service into the general release version of Firefox 34. This post relates to the release of “Hello” into version 35 of the Firefox Beta browser.

The result of a partnership between Mozilla and Telefónica, and leveraging the OpenTok Platform, Firefox Hello allows people to make video calls directly within the browser, with or without an account.

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The Eternal WebRTC Video Codec Debate – Consensus Finally!

Snail crossing finish line“Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.”  – Bertrand Russell

The world has indeed changed in the last year as WebRTC has made massive strides both from a standardization and from a market adoption point of view. A whole host of innovative applications are succeeding on mobile and desktop end-points.

But despite another 12 months of progress, one of the key points of contention that remained stubbornly unresolved was the great video codec debate: Should VP8 or H.264 be the Mandatory-to-Implement Video Codec for WebRTC? It was a welcome and surprising move that led the IETF Working Group to finally arrive at the following consensus just last week:

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The TokBox Team at WebRTC Conference & Expo

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 11.07.53 AMHere at TokBox we are preparing for the fifth WebRTC expo, taking place in San Jose next week from 18-20 November.

Since the last WebRTC expo in June, there has been a lot of action in the market;

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Why do we care about ORTC?

ORTCFor those who might not know (and are still interested in the topic?) ORTC, Object RTC, is an initiative that was started one year ago by a group of people who were not comfortable with the approach taken for the design of the WebRTC APIs.  This group recently published the first official draft of an alternative API including support from very relevant people from Google and Microsoft.

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Firefox Hello: Mozilla enhances OpenTok-powered video chat service

mozilla beta logoMozilla has today released some additional capabilities into the WebRTC communications feature beta it first released a couple months ago and unveiled its name for the first time – Firefox Hello. As always, we’re delighted that OpenTok is the platform of choice for companies building innovative services such as this that are able to scale up to hundreds of thousands of users.

New features of Firefox Hello being released in Firefox Beta today include:

  • New Call Options: One of the key benefits of Firefox Hello is that you don’t need an account to make a call. However, if there are people that you connect with regularly, you can all sign up for a Firefox Account. That enables you to initiate calls directly from your contact list without needing to share a callback link first.
  • Contacts integration: Contacts management has been added for the first time, with functionality for manual input or importing through a Google account. This will make it far easier to call these contacts from within Firefox.

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As Mozilla rolls out Firefox Beta to users over the next few weeks, they will be able to connect with anyone using a WebRTC-enabled browser (such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera) with no need to download software or plugins (credit fayeun). These are just a few of the improvements that have been made since the last release.

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TokBox Guide to Consumers and Video Communications

man on phoneIf you’re thinking about integrating real-time communications into your website, service or mobile application, there are a number of things you need to consider with regards to when, where and how consumers will use your product.  Based on observed consumer behaviors to date, this series aims to identify a range of these influencing factors, providing you with key considerations to keep in mind during development.

The first installment of the series looks at locations and devices: where and how video communication are used and the impact of this on consumer expectations and behavior.

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