Google Helpouts wasn’t helping

helpouts-gGoogle 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.

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Why WebRTC Will Drive the Next Billion Dollar Company

We all have a fascination with the billion dollar startups. Venture Capitalists try and identify them early, media laud them (or bring them down to earth), and early adopters claim discovery. One new technology innovation has the potential to spark the creation of more billion dollar companies, and markets are starting to pay attention. So what is WebRTC, and why is there so much interest?

It begins with recognizing the emergence of two massive trends. The first is the increasing appetite for ‘on demand’. This is evident in everything from movies to car rides, hotels, relationships to groceries to well, everything. And communications is a core part of this, just look at Meerkat and Twitter’s latest acquisition, Periscope, bringing

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The Royal Bank of Scotland Introduces Video Banking

The Royal Bank of Scotland introduces Video Banking with OpenTokAn innovative approach to banking has enabled Coutts and Co in particular to thrive since its inception more than 300 years ago. The bank of choice for Her Majesty The Queen, Coutts has a commitment to continually bring the latest offerings in banking and support for its 70,000 global customers.

As Coutts operates as part of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group, ensuring quality of service to its clients worldwide is a top priority. RBS has a heavy focus on innovation and scouts the globe to identify companies and technologies that may be of service to the bank and its customers needs.

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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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Firefox Hello now available for all Firefox users

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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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