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.
In our previous post about packing more punch into the OpenTok platform we talked about a new release cadence and support policy. In order to improve our users’ experience of the OpenTok platform, we will now provide support for the current and previous versions of the client libraries.
As a quick follow up to this, we’re announcing the first set of client libraries that we will no longer be supporting.
We’re moving the OpenTok Platform to a new release cadence – less frequent with more punch. We’ve made a few significant decisions about how we’re going to release and support client updates in the OpenTok Platform, and, as these changes go live, we wanted to keep the OpenTok community properly updated.
Over the life of the OpenTok Platform, we’ve moved from weekly to bi-weekly to monthly releases. When the Platform only had web-based clients, it was possible for us and (some of) our partners to move this quickly.
Come November, it will have been four years since we launched the OpenTok platform into the world. Can you believe it? During that time technology has evolved, market demands have shifted, and mobile has become king. As your ambassador to real-time communications, we’ve stayed on top of that ever-changing ecosystem.
That’s why we have some important news to share with you – The OpenTok 1.0 platform will no longer be supported as of January 5th, 2015. It was a hard decision to make as the TokBox team and you – the OpenTok community – have dedicated so much time and energy to building on top of it.
Today we’re announcing new Intelligent Quality Controls in the OpenTok platform. To catch everyone up, Intelligent Quality Controls are the features and enhancements we’re developing to make sure that each participant in a video call has the best possible experience.
Update (Nov 25): Developers, check out our new blog post that provides details on using dynamic frame rate controls.
You may recall that over the summer we launched traffic shaping for the audio-only fallback feature. This feature drops video in low bandwidth situations to prevent a participant with poor QOS from dragging down the video quality for everyone else. Essentially, we built the automatic (video) mute button for “that guy on his cell phone in a convertible!”