Many of our partners eventually find themselves asking how to tell whether their users tend to experience good quality while using the OpenTok Platform. As time has taught us, this can be a difficult question to answer. The most common source of complaints stem from underwhelming audio/video (A/V) quality between endpoints. These complaints are nearly always rooted in issues with performance of the endpoint network. The correlation between network performance and A/V quality has been accepted as an industry standard. In fact, we have built tools to expose network performance data, as a proxy indicator of subjective quality. While objective data about a network may be easy to collect, it is much more difficult to assign a number to represent the quality of experience that a user subjectively experiences.
Mobile applications are rapidly becoming the primary channel through which people get things done. At the same time, user experience expectations for mobile applications far exceed expectations for applications delivered through other channels. Users expect value, ease of use and a delightful experience, but too often their expectations are not met. This is only exasperated in applications with a real-time communication component. Our customers are not immune to this trend; an increasing number of them are building applications with a mobile-first strategy and it is becoming a significant part of the traffic that we see on our platform. In fact, more than 60% of the traffic we see on OpenTok is from customers using our Mobile SDKs.
Back in 2014, we released a WebRTC industry first – an Archiving API built on top of the OpenTok Platform. The ease of use of the Archiving API which enables the recording of any OpenTok session has become one of the key drivers for our customers to choose TokBox. We’ve seen demand from customers across a range of different industries with a range of use cases but the ability to record OpenTok sessions, in a format that is optimized for playback (Composed Archiving) or one that gives customers complete control over post-processing (Individual Archiving), is a common ask across the board.
The influence of live video technology has permeated into a number of different industries, and education is just one area looking to capitalize on the advantages available. By integrating WebRTC technology into their existing interfaces, education providers are seeking new ways to deliver quality service to learners around the world.
Owing to the rise of live video technology in different spheres, there has been an increase in consumer demand for interactive educational services. One reason for this is the potential to deliver education services around the world, made possible by remotely controlled live video.
When it comes to communicating with family and friends, live video has become commonplace, but it has not yet become the norm in business. In order to take advantage of the benefits of live video, companies and brands must find a way to integrate live video into their existing suites.
With rising demand and interest, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to be able to provide live video capabilities to its consumers. This can help create a mutually beneficial relationship between business and customer as service can be provided more conveniently and efficiently.
We have been working on a new standards-based alternative to authenticate with the OpenTok REST endpoints. With the release of the latest OpenTok Server SDKs, we will be transitioning to JSON Web Tokens (JWT) to authenticate OpenTok REST endpoints.
With this version your client can now automatically reconnect to OpenTok sessions after drops in network connectivity. This feature helps restore connectivity during transitions between network interfaces such as Wi-Fi and LTE, allowing you to expand the duration of the communication and provide a better quality of experience to your customers. You can find sample code showing you how to update your application here.
Despite the fact that filters are used a lot in non-WebRTC video applications like Photo Booth and SnapChat, we haven’t seen many WebRTC applications using these types of filters. This is probably because it hasn’t really been possible… until now.
It has always been possible to apply filters to video streams locally using the OpenTok platform by rendering the video into a Canvas element. The problem with this approach has always been that the person on the other end does not see the filter unless you apply the same filter on both the publisher and subscriber video. This would mean significant CPU load if you are subscribing to multiple participants. It also means that you don’t get to see the filters in the Archives.
I was talking with our old friend Philipp Hancke and discussing how it could be possible that 12% of the WebRTC calls were failing. This number came as a surprise to us as, based on our reports, the number of failures is significantly lower when it comes to OpenTok calls, even though the exact numbers depend on the specific use case you have.
So, we decided to grab some data and try to prove that WebRTC, at least in our platform, is doing a much better job.
When evaluating a new product or service, we know how important it is to be able to test out the technology first. Stakeholders in different areas of the business, both developers and non developers, need to see and understand how the technology works.
We’ve noticed that for customers evaluating the OpenTok platform, without using the API, it can be challenging to visualise your use case. Even when a developer works through our Quick Start Guide, there can be a need for additional implementation to build a custom proof of concept. All of this translates into time invested during the business’ evaluation phase of the product; worse yet, it can lead to an incomplete or inaccurate evaluation.