Google shuts down plenty of products. Reader, Glass, Talk, Wave. But the closing down of Helpouts gives particularly valuable lessons for those who are building WebRTC based applications and services for the always on ‘find an expert market’, of which there are many.
While it’s clear that it didn’t get enough traction and had some monetization issues, the real question is why? In healthcare in particular there is a large and growing world of people for whom video communications, powered by WebRTC, is a critical lifeline (literally). This is a world that includes housebound cancer-patients, the blind, recovering drug addicts, time-constrained parents and their community of carers, and healthcare practitioners. A recent report cited 89% of healthcare executives that said they expect telemedicine to transform the U.S. healthcare system in the next decade, with the number of patients using telehealth services growing to 7 million in 2018, up from 350,000 in 2013.
An 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.
While 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.
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.
When 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.
In 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.
“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:
Here 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;
For 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.
Signaling 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.