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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OpenTok Android SDK 2.4 now available

We’ve recently released a new version of our OpenTok Android SDK. It includes:

  • Screen sharing support — You can now share your mobile screen as the video source for a publisher. See the code samples.
  • Hardware acceleration — You can take advantage of the built-in VP8 hardware decoding on the following select devices: Asus K010, Asus K011, and Asus K013. The hardware decoding uses less CPU for video processing, saves battery life, and provides a better app experience. Hardware acceleration is enabled by default in the SDK, no additional development is required.
  • Emulator support — You can now use the Android built-in emulator for development with OpenTok.
  • Multiple bug fixes and performance optimizations.

For more information please see the release notes.

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OpenTok.js 2.4 now available

We’ve recently released a new version of our OpenTok client for web – OpenTok.js 2.4. This release includes:

  • Screen sharing support — You can now share your screen as the video source for a publisher in Chrome and Firefox, for online meetings, presentations and more. See more here.
  • Control of cropping and letter-boxing of videos — You can now specify whether videos will be cropped or letter-boxed when the aspect ratio of the video does not match the aspect ratio of the DOM element.
  • OpenTok Plugin for Internet Explorer improvements:
    • Audio Levels API support in Internet Explorer. This means your customers can benefit from OpenTok’s audio detection capabilities.
    • The installation and update dialog boxes are now responsive, resizing appropriately based on the browser window’s dimensions.
  • Multiple bug fixes and performance optimizations.

For more information please see the release notes.

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Firefox Hello now available for all Firefox users

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 4.53.15 PM

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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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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