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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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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Announcing a new partner spotlight series… PartnerTok! First up, Cambly.

camblyHello!  Ed from the BD team @ TokBox here.  We’re always thinking of great ways to showcase cool partners, so we came up with an idea for a series called PartnerTok. This whole series will be done via our open source chat tool OpenTokRTC and recorded with our archiving stack!  For our inaugural episode we are featuring our friends at Cambly.  They’re a language marketplace for people who want to learn English or Spanish. We talked to them about where the idea came from, how it got started, their business model as well as their experience launching the app.

Cambly is also one of the partners testing out our new archiving stack – you can hear from them firsthand in the video about how easy it is to implement.  In fact, we used the OpenTok API for WebRTC to power the live interview, and our new Archiving & Playback beta to record it.

If you’d like to try the OpenTok platform simply sign up for an account! Want to try our new Archiving & Playback beta? You can request access to sign up for the program here.

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LiveNinja: Video chat face-to-face with experts

There is a new breed of Ninjas taking over. Instead of covert agents wielding nunchucks and wearing ninja-yoroi, you’ll find gentler individuals donned in yoga pants, weaponed with guitars and Adobe CSS. LiveNinja, our App of the Week, is responsible. They’ve created a searchable marketplace of experts (Certified Ninjas) in the topics you care about, using the OpenTok API to facilitate live video consultations.

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Double Robotics presents at LeWeb

Yesterday, the talented folks at Double Robotics rocked the stage at LeWeb in Paris. David Cann, Co-founder and CEO, demoed their telepresence robot, Double. The sleek Double combines Segway-style movement with video presence delivered through an iPad.

Leveraging OpenTok’s iOS SDK on WebRTC, Double enables owners to broadcast their video stream on the robot’s iPad from any location. Not only that, but the operator can stream and control its movements from a smartphone.

Cann demoed the Double’s original inspiration, which was to connect remote workers with their home offices. Calling his CTO back in Sunnyvale, Cann took their Double for a three a.m. spin around the office from Paris. Customers are also finding uses for Double for remote tours of factories, museums, schools, and retail outlets.

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