Today, we are happy to announce yet another significant milestone in the technical evolution of the OpenTok platform – dynamic traffic shaping for audio and video through our Mantis infrastructure. We are now optimizing the experience for every participant in a multi-party call.
WebRTC is essentially defined as a peer-to-peer protocol for real-time browser-based communication. The problem is that countless real-world applications require multi-party support. So eight weeks ago we unveiled Mantis to solve this. Mantis is our next-generation cloud-scaling infrastructure that enables developers to deliver bandwidth-efficient multi-party WebRTC support.
Today, the OpenTok platform adds the Cloud Raptor SDK into the fold. Partners’ application servers can use the Cloud Raptor SDK to listen to the events and messages that pass through an OpenTok session. Accessing these events and messages on the application server makes it easier to integrate OpenTok logic with the application logic. (Prior to Cloud Raptor, OpenTok events and messages were only available on the client.)
Before today, building robust applications with the OpenTok platform meant writing a distributed application across many clients. The clients either synchronized between themselves, the partner sent back a lot of AJAX calls to their server, or the developer used a service like Parse. Now, with the Cloud Raptor SDK, OpenTok developers can have one OpenTok brain for their application – simplifying the development and extending the possibilities simultaneously.
On February 4th Mozilla and Google announced that their respective browsers could now talk to each other via WebRTC. This is another big milestone in WebRTC’s path towards becoming available in all modern web browsers, albeit, today only in an early development build of Firefox, version 21+ (currently Nightly and soon to be Aurora).
We’ve also been working hard on making OpenTok on WebRTC work with both Firefox and Chrome so you too can enjoy all this cross-browser goodness!
Off to the races
The first thing that you need is version 21 or higher of Firefox, currently available through the Aurora FTP site and Nightly site.
WebRTC Demo Day! Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard of WebRTC. A few weeks ago, Google unleashed Chrome 23 which has WebRTC and PeerConnection support. This is really exciting because everyone on chrome (and IE users with Chrome Frame plugin) can now experience the next generation of communication via live video. Today is the day to experience it. Simply go to https://OpenTokRTC.com and join a room! If you’re lucky, you might catch a few WebRTC Streams from iOS devices.
Nearly 7 months ago, we publicly announced that the OpenTok API would extend its reach to native mobile application developers by publishing the OpenTok iOS SDK. In the time since, we have tightened the performance of the SDK runtime for iOS devices and spent a good deal of time learning about how best to deliver video to the mobile platform. While iOS commands a large portion of the mobile app market, it is intuitive that we should build similar SDKs for other popular platforms outside of the browser. It is a pleasure to announce that we are developing the OpenTok Android SDK, to allow native Android developers to bring live video chat to their apps.
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.
I am very excited today to announce our first major product release since being acquired by Telefónica Digital (@tefdigital) only two weeks ago. While we’re not in the habit of tooting our own horn, we’re pretty darn pleased with this release and what it means for the future.
Today we are releasing OpenTok on WebRTC, the first solution for developers that brings high quality face-to-face video straight out of the box to Google’s Chrome 23 and, perhaps even more of a breakthrough, the first to support WebRTC on iOS.
This newest release of OpenTok leverages WebRTC and native websockets, and marries high-quality audio/video with our own high-performance and highly scalable Rumor messaging framework, It does this at the same time as reducing client weight and driving faster connection startup times. You can experience it firsthand here.
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.
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.
At TokBox, we spend a lot of time keeping up with what’s going on in the world of face-to-face video, because we’re always looking for the best ways to help move the OpenTok platform forward.
Today, we’re very happy to launch OpenTok support for WebRTC through an early-access build generally available to our developer community. While WebRTC is still a ways away from being ready for end users, last week Google took a big step forward towards their vision of what WebRTC could be with their stable release of Chrome 21. That makes this an opportune time to show you what we’ve been working on behind the scenes.