WebRTC--Web-based Real Time Communications--offers up a lot of potential to change the communications landscape as we know it. So it's therefore not much of a surprise to see more companies try to get in on what may well prove to be the next gold rush in software. Joining the fray is TokBox, whose release earlier today of the OpenTok solution takes WebRTC to a new level by putting it in an iOS platform, making it more versatile overall.
OpenTok allows users to launch video chats between two WebRTC-enabled browsers, including those found on iOS, a move which itself solves a significant problem in trying to get WebRTC up and working on mobile devices. Since more people are going in the direction of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, getting a version of this program out and in play for iOS was a smart idea.
The release of OpenTok, one of TokBox's first releases since being purchased by Telefonica Digital, was specifically intended to release alongside Chrome 23, and those making connections between Chrome and iOS will be among the first to discover just how well the system works. Further versions are expected later on, as TokBox also rolled out an early access release version of the OpenTok Android SDK--Software Developer Kit--that would allow developers to add video chat capability to Android apps with the addition of just a few lines of code.
Meanwhile, there's already some interest in the software at the corporate level; Bridgestone Golf is the first to use OpenTok on WebRTC. They're using it as part of a larger project in which they send 1,000 iPad-equipped kiosks to stores throughout the United States. The kiosks allow golfers to contact Bridgestone directly and find out just which golf ball they should buy by consulting with Bridgestone's "ball-fitting experts". However, they're certainly not the first to use OpenTok in general; OpenTok counts among its customer’s major names like Ford, Diet Coke, Major League Baseball, American Idol, and around 50,000 other firms.
With customer service an even more vital function than usual thanks to a weakened economy hampering shoppers, a service like OpenTok from TokBox allows users to not only get the information they need to make careful purchases, they also get the additional feeling that their purchases are valued by the companies in question who assigned actual experts to talk to them online. Of course, it becomes important that actual experts be hired for those positions.
Still, it goes a long way toward providing a valuable connection for users, and the end result of OpenTok for TokBox's launch will likely be a positive one for both beleaguered stores and customers alike.
Edited by Brooke Neuman