Announcing Voice for the OpenTok Platform

VoiceUIThe OpenTok Platform started out as a real-time video communications platform, built  to take on the changing landscape of digital communications. Throughout the years, one thing has always been clear to us – every customer has their own unique set of needs. Occasionally that means that video isn’t the communications medium to lead with. Sometimes voice is the best option.

Whether on mobile devices or the web, voice-only experiences present their own unique technology and UI challenges.  That’s why the OpenTok platform has a comprehensive voice offering with those use cases in mind.

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The OpenTok Platform Collaborative Editor

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 6.01.54 AMWe always want to share as much as possible with our community so today we’re sharing a description of how we developed the opentok-editor collaborative editor using ot.js and CodeMirror. You can see the editor in action at meet.tokbox.com and you can see how to use it for yourself at the opentok-editor github page. We love to see people using our open source projects so please feel free to file issues and contribute pull-requests to this project on Github.

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Key Technology Challenges for the Healthcare Industry

health-care-generic-1In our last blog post, (a peek at the future of healthcare) we considered the key drivers behind innovation in the health care industry.  Telehealth has seen explosive market growth in recent years and shows no sign of slowing down. Despite its enormous potential for growth, the healthcare industry faces regulatory challenges that impede innovation.

Since the 1996 introduction of HIPAA, (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), the healthcare industry has become highly regulated. The scope and complexity of healthcare regulation has made it incredibly difficult for organizations to adopt new technologies. Compared to other industries, they have been relatively slow to adopt technological innovations as a result.  This trend has manifested itself in the adoption of the public cloud, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and even the storage of online health records.  With this in mind, one can assume this trend will repeat itself when it comes to browser based real time communications powered by WebRTC.

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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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Mozilla expands experimental WebRTC communications feature into Firefox Beta

webrtc_logoWe know readers of this blog are enthusiasts and thought leaders when it comes to WebRTC implementations. Three months ago Mozilla launched its own experimental WebRTC feature powered by OpenTok into its Firefox Nightly channel. Now they’re calling on you to get involved and test it out as they release it into Firefox Beta.

Since launching this experimental feature it has evolved, and will continue to evolve, but the goal remains the same, to make audio and video communications simple and connect everyone with a WebRTC enabled browser.

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