The Royal Bank of Scotland Introduces Video Banking

The Royal Bank of Scotland introduces Video Banking with OpenTokAn innovative approach to banking has enabled Coutts and Co in particular to thrive since its inception more than 300 years ago. The bank of choice for Her Majesty The Queen, Coutts has a commitment to continually bring the latest offerings in banking and support for its 70,000 global customers.

As Coutts operates as part of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group, ensuring quality of service to its clients worldwide is a top priority. RBS has a heavy focus on innovation and scouts the globe to identify companies and technologies that may be of service to the bank and its customers needs.

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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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Firefox Hello now available for all Firefox users

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Today the latest version of Firefox Hello, powered by OpenTok, has been released. In the coming weeks, Firefox Hello will appear at the top right hand corner (chrome) of your Firefox browser, making it easier than ever to start a call.

Mozilla has produced a new product video that demonstrates Firefox Hello in action (included below). For further information you can read the Mozilla blog post here, as well as copied below.

We hope you enjoy using Hello and look forward to sharing more updates with you soon.

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The Future of WebRTC and Video Banking: 4 Use Cases

The Future of WebRTC and Video Banking: 4 Use CasesWhen people think about banks, the thoughts that spring to mind are images of serious people in conservative suits, large buildings with marble-floored lobbies and rows of teller windows, and well-fed men who look like the guy on a Monopoly box. Indeed, leading banks have always worked hard to maintain stellar reputations for reliability, safety, and longevity. You don’t tend to think about banks being big risk-takers, or experts at trying out new business practices or cutting edge technologies.

But when you look a little closer, the truth is, leading banks are expert at understanding and taking calculated risks, which is essential to their core business of taking deposits from some customers and prudently loaning out those funds to others. They are also remarkably forward-looking in trying out new technologies and business innovations, even if they don’t always portray themselves this way.

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ConceptBoard: The Future of Remote Working Tools

cb_logo_300ppiIn the past decade, technology innovation has been one of the main catalysts for change in the way that we work. Tools like email, instant messaging, Skype, productivity and task management systems are making it easier than ever to stay connected (and focused) outside of the office – whether you’re at home, a coffee shop, or in a plane, train or automobile.

According to one estimate by the American Community Survey, telecommuting has risen 79 percent between 2005 and 2012 and now makes up 2.6 percent of the American work force, or 3.2 million workers. Two+ years later, you can imagine how much this has increased. 

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The Eternal WebRTC Video Codec Debate – Consensus Finally!

Snail crossing finish line“Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.”  – Bertrand Russell

The world has indeed changed in the last year as WebRTC has made massive strides both from a standardization and from a market adoption point of view. A whole host of innovative applications are succeeding on mobile and desktop end-points.

But despite another 12 months of progress, one of the key points of contention that remained stubbornly unresolved was the great video codec debate: Should VP8 or H.264 be the Mandatory-to-Implement Video Codec for WebRTC? It was a welcome and surprising move that led the IETF Working Group to finally arrive at the following consensus just last week:

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The TokBox Team at WebRTC Conference & Expo

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 11.07.53 AMHere at TokBox we are preparing for the fifth WebRTC expo, taking place in San Jose next week from 18-20 November.

Since the last WebRTC expo in June, there has been a lot of action in the market;

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Why do we care about ORTC?

ORTCFor those who might not know (and are still interested in the topic?) ORTC, Object RTC, is an initiative that was started one year ago by a group of people who were not comfortable with the approach taken for the design of the WebRTC APIs.  This group recently published the first official draft of an alternative API including support from very relevant people from Google and Microsoft.

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WebRTC Data Channels vs WebSockets

WebRTC Data channels vs. WebSocketsSignaling between client end points has always been an important facet for most interactive web applications. The use cases range from text chatting to multiplayer games to driving a robot remotely. In the world of HTML5, most developers establish signaling through websockets, long polling and server side events. However with the advent of WebRTC, data channels joined the ranks and the question posed by many developers is “Where do data channels fit in the equation?”

Data Channels provide a way to send binary / text data to another peer over the browser. The data channel api is very similar to web sockets when it comes to sending different types of data. It works peer to peer without the need of a centralized server or an additional hop in most cases.

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Buy vs. Build

BVBWhen creating new services and products, organizations always face a challenge whether to buy or build key underlying components and functionality. As WebRTC attracts an increasing degree of interest, we regularly hear from customers that they are considering the trade-off around the decision to buy or build. Many go so far as to try and build their own real time video or audio solution before they turn to a hosted platform like OpenTok. Not surprisingly given the business we are in, we come down pretty strongly on the side of leveraging a hosted service.

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