Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.
TokBox, a company that was recently acquired by Telefonica Digital, has launched OpenTok on WebRTC. By having its platform on WebRTC, TokBox says it’s the first to build its video chat product right on WebRTC-enabled browsers.
WebRTC is the latest real-time communications standard for both voice and video, all done within a browser. Google Chrome recently announced its support and will be adding it to its newest browser release. The ‘big deal’ about this standard is that communications can be done natively right within the browser without requiring any plug-ins to be installed, including Adobe Flash. In Google’s case, the company has been looking at replacing its own technology with Google+ Hangouts so that it can be more accessible on different devices.
What does this means for developers and users of TokBox? According to the company, now, you can build two-way video between WebRTC-enabled browsers and iOS devices, overcoming what it calls a major barrier for developers and companies wishing to give its users high-quality video chat experiences.
One of the first companies utilizing OpenTok on WebRTC is Bridgestone Golf. It created iPad-based video chat kiosks within 1,000 stores across the United States to help golfers choose the perfect ball by chatting with experts. Dan Murphy, Bridgestone Golf’s Vice President of Marketing, said: “We realize that when consumers walk into a store looking for golf balls, they may be overwhelmed by choice, so live in-store consultation creates a more rewarding buying experience. Using OpenTok on WebRTC means our Kiosks offer a high quality engagement for our customers and consultants, which we were able to build and deploy rapidly.”
This is the first release of a product by TokBox since the company was acquired by Telefonica Digital last month. Its OpenTok API service has more than 5,000 businesses using it for video communication, including American Idol, Major League Baseball, Diet Coke, Ford, Doritos, and more.
Photo credit: STEPHEN SHAVER/AFP/Getty Images
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