It is becoming increasingly clear that real time is going to be the next big thing for the web. While Web 2.0 was all about social, groups, and crowd-whatever, it certainly appears that Web 3.0 is going to be about real time: real-time chat, real-time video, real-time audio, and real-time data. In fact, even the Internet of Things has a huge real-time web component that many are trying hard to understand. The examples are all around us, including 800 million Facebook users on messenger and more than 100 million video calls. The head of Facebook Messenger has openly said he thinks phone numbers will be dead soon.
While the action in the real-time web is accelerating in North America and Europe, it is exploding in Asia, especially China. The legacy PSTN phone infrastructure in China is relatively limited and the general communications methodology is through smartphones and the ever-expanding LTE infrastructure. The Chinese have latched on to apps like WeChat as the way to communicate, and real time is now exploding across the country.
The challenge with real time is it is not simple; there are obstacles from inception through implementation, delivery, and operations and a successful real time integration needs to be virtually flawless. While technologists realize the inherent differences between the next generation of real-time applications and the legacy telephony system, users generally do not and have expectations linked to that experience. So, assuring your solution is both well engineered and deployed is critical.
In the early days of real time on the web, the biggest component was WebRTC, the revolutionary protocol, API, and open source media engine that is the basis for the real-time web. However, focusing on WebRTC alone is not the path to success in the coming transformation. The challenges and requirements go well beyond the simple ability to make two browsers do a video call. Real-time is not seen as an add-on by users, but a core reflection of the app itself, and users expect real-time to work like a telephone call, always there and with quality that makes it understandable. However, even if a hundred or thousand real-time chats are flawless, just a few can reflect poorly on the application. This can drive users to alternatives. Throughout the history of the web, there have been innumerable examples (Yahoo, MySpace, etc.) that have not been able to adapt effectively to the changes in the space.
For the exploding market in Asia, now is the time to analyze the real-time Web and how best to implement and deliver it. The second Real Time Web Solutions Asia Conference in Beijing, October 28th and 29th at the Great Wall Sheraton is the event to both understand the challenges of the real-time web and how to best implement for your organization. The focus of the event is on all of the aspects that are necessary to plan, design, implement, deploy, and operate a real time component of a website or mobile application.
The conference content is designed to enable attendees to understand and evaluate all aspects of this next transition in the web.
- Real-Time Integration – how do real time capabilities integrate into applications or websites? When is it important to the tasks or capabilities the site or app is promoting? Is there a clear view as to how real-time will enhance app stickiness, time spent in the app or other factors that drive app success?
- User Experience – Real-time is not just an adjunct; it often becomes a core part of the experience of the site or application. With WebRTC and the real-time web, defining the user experience often is critical for the adoption of the real-time component and, ultimately, the success of the app or site. Deciding which media to use, whether to use symmetrical or asymmetrical user experiences, as well as how to integrate the full range of tools and shared experiences is a topic that will be covered in detail.
- Development Strategy – the real-time web can be delivered with a full range of options, from doing it all internally, as large players, like Facebook, have done, or by using a complete framework. The event will include sessions designed to expose the differences in development and operations to enable development teams to choose the right path for their projects. These sessions will cover all of the challenges and issues that need to be covered in development, as well as the tools available, from open source to complete frameworks.
- Deployment Strategy – with a developed real-time web app, the next question is how to deploy it. Form cloud servers and infrastructure to resources like media servers and TURN servers, a complete solution can have a number of variables. All of these need to be considered and the resulting solutions needs to be tested for both user experience as well as real-time service capabilities. With real-time, latency and packet loss are much less forgiving than in the TCP world of web pages. The conference will focus on these issues and how to assure a successful deployment.
- Operational Strategy – once deployed, the challenge is assuring that the overall solution is up and that the delivered real-time services are of sufficient quality and availability. Whether doing the complete deployment internally or engaging an external partner, having a clear view of how to monitor operations and assure success is critical.
The real-time web is just starting to take hold, but more than a billion people have already used it in some form. For the millions of websites and applications already monetizing the web of information, real-time is either a new way to enhance the current offer and increase stickiness and time spent on the site, or a potential threat of disruption and change. The Real Time Web Solutions Conference Asia is the place to understand the challenges and opportunities, hear how other have succeeded and meet the experts that can help you on a successful journey, through knowledge and products.
Edited by Erik Linask