Be My Eyes: Connecting blind people with sighted helpers via video

bemyeyes-logoWhile blind people are able to go about their day just like anyone else, simple everyday tasks can often present challenges. Whether it’s identifying the right public transit route for a commute, checking the expiration date of a carton of milk, or grabbing the right ingredients from the pantry for a meal, it may require assistance.

Founder of non-profit organization Be My Eyes, Hans Jørgen Wiberg, spent three years working for the Danish Blind Society consulting people about how to cope with visual impairment. Wiberg, who is visually impaired himself, found one common thread among all of the people he worked with: while the visually impaired often lean on friends and family to help them overcome everyday hurdles, they at times feel guilty asking for assistance. If they just ‘had a pair of eyes’ once or twice a day, they could accomplish a whole lot more on their own, without leaning on those closest to them.

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Announcing end of support for v2.0 OpenTok.js library and v2.1.7 iOS SDK

opentok_logoIn our previous post about packing more punch into the OpenTok platform we talked about a new release cadence and support policy.  In order to improve our users’ experience of the OpenTok platform, we will now provide support for the current and previous versions of the client libraries.

As a quick follow up to this, we’re announcing the first set of client libraries that we will no longer be supporting.

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OpenTok iOS and Android SDKs 2.2 into production

MOBILE

Following on from our OpenTok archiving and storage announcement we’re excited to fill you in on some updates we are making to our OpenTok iOS and Android SDKs 2.2 that are going into production.  What started out as internal engineering project has paved the way to the release of a suite of valuable mobile features which have become a formal part of the product offering, setting OpenTok further apart from other WebRTC platforms.

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Deep dive into the ‘Video Driver’

MOBILECBLOGOpenTok Mobile SDKs, Revision 2: The Video Driver

In the latest versions of the OpenTok SDKs for iOS and Android, everything is new. We found an opportunity to learn from the lessons of the past two years, and seized it to conduct an overhaul of the architecture of the client. The 2.2.0 release of the iOS and Android SDKs marks the second major revision of the implementation of the OpenTok Mobile SDKs. This post highlights one of the many new features of the 2.2.0 SDKs, about which we are feeling particularly excited: the “Video Driver”. Although the feature exists with parity in both platforms, today we’ll focus on the iOS-variant of the new API.

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Cordova Plugin to add WebRTC Audio and Video

cordova opentok plugin

We have recently published an updated post about the Cordova plugin which you can read here. We’re looking forward to your contributions to this OpenTok Labs project and seeing what you create with Cordova.

Over the past weeks I have been working on an open sourced, community driven, Cordova Plugin for OpenTok SDK that will give you the ability to add webrtc live audio/video chat to your Android and iOS applications. In this blog post I hope to let the OpenTok community know that this project is available and if you are a web developer with limited Android or iOS experience, you can now build OpenTok mobile apps with ease using the technology you are familiar with.

Jump right into your own project! Since this project is open source, please file issues/concerns on the GitHub issue tracker and feel free to send pull requests!

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Double Robotics presents at LeWeb

Yesterday, the talented folks at Double Robotics rocked the stage at LeWeb in Paris. David Cann, Co-founder and CEO, demoed their telepresence robot, Double. The sleek Double combines Segway-style movement with video presence delivered through an iPad.

Leveraging OpenTok’s iOS SDK on WebRTC, Double enables owners to broadcast their video stream on the robot’s iPad from any location. Not only that, but the operator can stream and control its movements from a smartphone.

Cann demoed the Double’s original inspiration, which was to connect remote workers with their home offices. Calling his CTO back in Sunnyvale, Cann took their Double for a three a.m. spin around the office from Paris. Customers are also finding uses for Double for remote tours of factories, museums, schools, and retail outlets.

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Getting Started: Streaming from iOS to browser via webRTC

 With all the excitement going on with webRTC and iOS interoperability, I’m sure many are excited to get started. If you don’t have time to navigate through the docs, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’m going to show you how to get started! If you didn’t know already, webRTC is a new HTML5 spec for interactive media streaming on the web.

Browser to Browser

This is very simple. All you have to do is go through our getting started tutorial. The basic idea behind OpenTok SDK is a publisher/subscriber model in a session. First you connect to a session, then you publish to a session. As other people publish to a session, you’ll get a streamCreated event, in which you’ll simply subscribe to their video stream. If you open up multiple tabs you’ll be able to see multiple videos. By default, the tutorial uses our flash stack. But we want WebRTC, so all we have to do is change our javascript library:

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OpenTok on WebRTC for iOS raises the bar

A new standard is making its way into web browsers and other clients around the world over the next few months that will likely change the way that we communicate with each other. WebRTC (Real-Time Communication) is a set of protocols and technologies that have been proposed to allow modern web browsers (currently Chrome 23 has support) to embed live audio/video communications without a plugin like flash.

Over the last few months we’ve been hard at work on a new variant to our iOS Video SDK, which we’re dubbing the OpenTok WebRTC for iOS SDK.

In the world of video WebRTC is a really big deal. The quality increase we’ve seen in WebRTC video versus our current Flash SDK is pretty phenomenal. For instance, video latency is typically less than 250ms under most network conditions. This is important to maintain a flowing conversation and avoid talking over other people on the call. Video quality is also noticeably better. The framerate and resolution are higher and adjusted dynamically over time to take advantage of the bandwidth and device capabilities that’s available between the clients.

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iOS SDK Enhancements: Now with 3G/4G support

Back in March of this year, TokBox launched a new SDK for its video platform that took the power of live, face-to-face conversations and brought them to the iOS platform (think FaceTime but as an API). This SDK has been essential to our ecosystem as it has helped our partners to create new iOS applications as well as bring new value into existing applications by adding live video. We’ve seen some fantastic use-cases take shape over the last few months. Some, perhaps obvious and others that are pushing the limits of new video use-cases.

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OpenTok now on PhoneGap

Today we’re taking real time video on mobile by storm with the launch of our PhoneGap plugin. Don’t want to code in a statically typed language (Objective-C)? We got your back.

For a long time we’ve provided a video chat API for web apps and we’ve seen interesting applications. Remote photo-booth, online collaboration, consultation apps, you name it!

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