WebRTC Expert Feature

April 30, 2014

Kangatime: Not a WebRTC App...Yet

Last night I attended the Stamford (CT) Innovation Center’s Meetup Hacker Night. To be candid, it was not a coding session. However, it was innovative and interesting. Mark Beaven, the CEO of Kangatime, presented his platform that sits somewhere between a social network and media storage cloud.

For the geeks among us, the system is written on top of Joomla and the app is written for iPhones at the present time. His goal in designing the system was to create a better way to organize family information that allowed the story to be told.

When he first wrote the specifications, he expected the system to be associated with a computer, but in this latest release he has migrated the platform to the point where someone can be on a smartphone or tablet and start using the system.

The benefit to using the system is the organization it represents and is primarily aimed at parents wanting to share their joy of the children. Because the nature of the platform is about family, although it could be used for other team and social groups,  Beaven shies away from calling it a social network, but it certainly represents added value than many social networks we use today.

All of his development work was outsourced and the effort has definitely paid off. One point he made was that the system we were looking at was several generations back from the development specification he has his developers working on today.

Which brings me to the question about WebRTC.  

As he spoke, I saw the obvious benefits of using WebRTC to capture video use the data channel to share and annotate, blend the media and post to the Web.

However, no one in the room had heard of WebRTC yet.

Often we are so close to things, we don't realize how far we have to go.

And most of it, like Beaven’s Kangatime, needs word of mouth.  Now the good news for the platform is that he focused on the chattiest people in the world: proud parents (and grandparents). I have friends who share pictures with me anyway they can: phone, email or Web.

For WebRTC as a culture, we have a slight disadvantage. First of all, developers by their nature have to spend alone time. Secondly, unlike parenthood, it is a meritocracy that has the tendency to discourage dialogue. Anyone’s child is a genius, but not everyone’s code is elegant. The other aspect is that we as a group are very accepting of our lack of interoperability. WebRTC app A does not really care if the users of WebRTC app C can work with them or not. Perhaps when we stop being in the first mover phase, we get past that point.

Enabling proud parents to talk about children is very different the being the proud parent of an application. We have a long way to go before WebRTC World is a statement of fact and a conference. In the meantime let me show you screenshots of my first….

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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