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November 08, 2012

Telefonica Subsidiary TokBox Exploits WebRTC to Enable Cross-Platform Video Calling

Aiming to become an international communications platform beyond basic voice and data services, Spanish carrier Telefonica’s new media arm, Telefonica Digital, last month acquired video calling platform, TokBox.

Utilizing the nascent Web standard WebRTC, TokBox has announced an open video chat solution called OpenTok. The developer claims that OpenTok is the first open platform for building video chat applications using WebRTC-enabled browsers.

Because it is a cross device solution, OpenTok will enable Apple iOS-powered devices and users of WebRTC-enabled browsers to video chat together. The launch of OpenTok on WebRTC coincides with Google's release of Chrome 23 – its HTML5 browser.

According to TokBox, developers will be able to use OpenTok to build independent, browser-based video applications.  

Google, which is offering a browser-based video app with its Hangouts on Google+, according to a recent statement, has donated much of the code for the WebRTC standard.

OpenTok will enable developers to build specialized, almost ad-hoc video chat applications tailored for specific applications. For instance, the company  names a golf equipment company which has built a chat kiosk using the technology to help golfers select the right balls by putting them in direct touch with a ball-fitting expert.  

This kind of application development earlier was hampered because of fragmentation in the video software and hardware industry.  With standard browsers supporting WebRTC, OpenTOK opens up the video chat capability to every website, and certainly every social media site.

Edited by Braden Becker
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