TokBox – now a Telefónica Digital company

Same great Platform, same great team, great new owners.

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.

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TokBox disrupts the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference

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:

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A Peek Under the Hood: How OpenTok & WebRTC Make Nice

Today we released an early-access build of OpenTok in our labs which leverages a brand new controller stack along with WebRTC support for media transport. This is important for two main reasons.

  • First, our early access build fully supports an OpenTok peer-peer session using WebRTC under the covers This demonstrates an important principle we strive to provide—a consistent programming interface for application developers where the platform chooses the best underlying transport possible.
  • The second reason is the labs version of OpenTok on WebRTC demonstrates a fully non-Flash, HTML5 version of OpenTok.

With our iOS SDK, the JavaScript SDK and now the Labs version of OpenTok WebRTC, we are happy to be making progress towards our vision: to enable application developers to concentrate on what is important—building rich, compelling and fun applications that talk to each other.

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OpenTok API and Hangouts Platform: Birds of a feather, which one is better?

At TokBox we can almost feel the excitement that developers are feeling for this year’s Google I/O conference, afterall our office is just a few blocks away from the Moscone Center. This afternoon we got to see Google tell developers about their Hangouts Platform and we were pretty excited to see what they had to offer.

It’s no secret that OpenTok and Hangouts share a lot of the same functionality, but we thought it would be really helpful for developers in our community if we pointed out some place where they differ. Afterall, for developers it should always be about using the best tool for the job.

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Startup Weekend Chicago

A few days ago, I wrote about going to Startup Weekend Chicago. I kept my promise.

On Friday, we started off with a series of inspiring speeches. I managed to snatch 2 minutes of fame telling everyone about the awesomeness of OpenTok.

We pitched ideas and formed groups throughout the rest of the night. There were 65 pitches, and by the end of the night everyone consolidated into 14 teams.

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TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Round 3

The year’s biggest hackathon is going to kick off in T-24 hours. Do you think we would miss it? Not a chance! We’re looking forward to sponsoring TechCrunch Disrupt’s Hackathon and Conference (this time in NYC) for the third time. Perhaps we’ll see an OpenTok powered app take home the title. Third time’s the charm, right? RIGHT?

Since the last Disrupt Hackathon, more eyeballs have been on the video chat world than ever before. How so? For starters, Google+ Hangouts is gaining traction and pushing new features (hello “On Air”), folks are anxiously awaiting the launch of AirTime (what is it already?!?), and we’ve launched the first ever iOS SDK for video chat. Not to shabby video chat industry.

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Adobe LCCS abandons ship

Today, Adobe announced it will be end-of-lifing its LiveCycle Collaboration Services (LCCS) platform at the end of this year.

For developers and websites looking to integrate face-to-face video into their websites while avoiding the heavy lifting of building their own solution, our OpenTok platform and Adobe’s LCCS offering were the two leading Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) options. Now all the folks who chose Adobe – many of whom thought they were going with the “safe” alternative – are about to be left out in the cold.

At TokBox, business is booming. So how can it be that “changes in Adobe’s strategic direction” are moving them away from such a rapidly growing market?

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We’re headin’ to SXSW

The countdown begins! Only four more days until South By Southwest kicks off, the only event where the past year’s hottest music, film and technology intersect. This year our very own Ian Small, CEO of TokBox, will be participating on a panel at SXSW Interactive. So if you’ll be in Austin for the big event, we’d love for you to catch the session live. All the details are below and we hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 13

3:30PM – 4:30PM

Social Media & Young Children: Our Kids’ Futures

With Christine Egy Rose (Founder, Scoot & Doodle Inc), Hayes Raffle (Interaction Researcher, Google Inc), Patty Chang (Co-founder, Scoot & Doodle Inc) and Svetlana Gous (Consultant/Educator)

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PC World: Video Calling is Finally Catching On

There is a dictum we use to sum up the major belief that drives all that we do at TokBox: Face to face is the future of the web.

In 2007, the company’s emphasis was very much on ‘the future’. Skype hadn’t yet moved into the mainstream.  FaceTime did not exist – in fact, the first iPhone hadn’t yet been released.  And yet, the TokBox team had a fundamental understanding that the way we communicate online would become more human, and that face to face was the most human form of communication possible over the web.

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The Rise of the Silicon Prairie

Thinc Iowa speakers

Presenters at Thinc Iowa 2011

Returning home to the midwest after spending a few years in the cultural bubble of San Francisco is a strange experience. As John Travolta’s character says in Pulp Fiction regarding Europe: “It’s the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that we got here, but it’s just… there it’s just a little different.” You’re confronted with of all the superficial differences in dress, decor and culture, and you start to remember that in Iowa it isn’t about wearing expensive clothes, or having a hip club to check out every night. It’s about sincerity, genuine friendliness, working hard, and desire to help other people. “And that,” I imagine the people presenting at Thinc Iowa would probably say, “is exactly the point.”

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