Despite the fact that filters are used a lot in non-WebRTC video applications like Photo Booth and SnapChat, we haven’t seen many WebRTC applications using these types of filters. This is probably because it hasn’t really been possible… until now.
It has always been possible to apply filters to video streams locally using the OpenTok platform by rendering the video into a Canvas element. The problem with this approach has always been that the person on the other end does not see the filter unless you apply the same filter on both the publisher and subscriber video. This would mean significant CPU load if you are subscribing to multiple participants. It also means that you don’t get to see the filters in the Archives.
I was talking with our old friend Philipp Hancke and discussing how it could be possible that 12% of the WebRTC calls were failing. This number came as a surprise to us as, based on our reports, the number of failures is significantly lower when it comes to OpenTok calls, even though the exact numbers depend on the specific use case you have.
So, we decided to grab some data and try to prove that WebRTC, at least in our platform, is doing a much better job.
Why traditional broadcasters need to adapt, fast
Cable companies and television networks can’t take a trick at the moment. As if digital disruption and cord cutting wasn’t making life tough enough, now comes the rise of participatory broadcasting, the phenomena where viewers collaboratively interact while consuming content, and maybe even participate.
Still coming to grips with on demand and online/mobile viewing, traditional broadcasters must now find a way to provide immersive and engaging viewer experiences to compete with the likes of Facebook Live, Meerkat and Periscope.
“Organizations that embrace rich, real time communication technologies, like WebRTC, reap indisputable benefits” (Business Success Through Embedded Communication Technology, a March 2016 study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by TokBox).
A new report from Forrester, commissioned by TokBox, has found that WebRTC is delivering significant value across core business functions for organizations across a range of industries. This should come as no surprise given the challenge that many organizations face to bridge the ever growing gap between colleagues, businesses, and their customers as more of what they do moves online.
Web Application Developers are used to being able to write automated tests for their applications and have them run with every PR and before deploying to production to give a level of confidence that things are not broken. OpenTok and real-time applications in general present new challenges when it comes to writing and running automated tests. There are challenges when it comes to getting access to microphones and cameras, testing multiple participants and installing the plugin for Internet Explorer among others.
There has been lots of work around WebRTC testing automation and our friends at rtc.io and &yet have written some great articles on the subject. However these articles don’t cover some of the specifics of testing OpenTok applications for example testing Internet Explorer and installing the OpenTok plugin for Internet Explorer. If you haven’t already I would recommend taking some time to read the articles by the folks at rtc.io and &yet before coming back to this. Also if you’re not familiar with Travis and Selenium WebDriver you might want to check those out too.