Guest Post: The Value of Real-Time Video

Today we’d like to introduce you to the lovely team over at TechChange. They provide online technology training for social change on topics including emergency management, digital organizing, and mobile phones for international development. They’ve been kind enough to write up a blog about their use of OpenTok that makes for an excellent read.  Enjoy!

The Value of Real-Time Video: How OpenTok Has Improved Our Online Engagement

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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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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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Redefining Work Hackathon by Box

As mentioned in previous blog, we are proud to be sponsoring a Box Hackathon, called Redefining Work. Over the past weekend, we got to live it and it was AWESOME!

For pictures, look at our facebook page. We took pictures throughout the entire hackathon!

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TokBox builds it’s own internal messaging infrastructure.

At Tokbox, we believe in providing a high quality video experience by constantly upgrading our server infrastructure. In that interest, Tokbox built it’s lightweight, scalable, raw socket based messaging framework called Rumor.

One might wonder why OpenTok needs its own messaging infrastructure, being a video streaming API. The concept of an OpenTok session is similar to that of people in a room (session) talking to each other (publisher and subscribers). When someone new enters the room, those already there acknowledge their presence. Similarly, when a new client comes into an OpenTok session, the current participants are unaware of that client’s presence until they’re notified by the server that someone else has joined. Along the same lines, any actions performed by that client (such as publishing their camera) need to be relayed via the server to all the other participants on that session. Not only is it important to be assured everyone gets these messages, but it also needs to happen in a timely manner. This is where our scalable messaging architecture, Rumor, comes into place.

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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 on WebRTC: Grab your lab coat!

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.

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Wello: On-Demand Video Training Sessions

There is a laundry list of reasons why folks don’t squeeze in a little physical activity: they’re tired, they can’t afford a gym membership, they are allergic to sweat or there is a new episode of Real Housewives from who-knows-where on after work….what? That’s not normal?

Every time someone skips a workout, it gets easier not to exercise the next day. That’s where our newest App of the Week, Wello, comes into the picture. Their vision is simple: they want to make getting and staying healthy easier. They aim to make that vision a reality by offering on-demand video training sessions powered by OpenTok anytime, and anywhere.

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Hack for Change: Your skills are good, but do they do good?

Over the past weekend, July 28-29, we sponsored Hack for Change. How can you use technology to help and improve the lives of the people around you? Or better yet, how can you use video technology to make a change?

On the beautiful saturday morning, Change.org opened their Headquarters to developers, designers, and hustlers with a common goal: to build something over the weekend that can help improve the community. In the spacious office with an unlimited supply of snacks, food, energy drinks, beer, and soft drinks, hackers comfortably mingled and got to know each other.

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