WebRTC World Feature Article

November 21, 2013

OpenClove Sees WebRTC as a Major Disruptor for Retail, Education

OpenClove is a company focusing on the behavioral impact of WebRTC. In its demo this week at the WebRTC Conference & Expo, the company showcased its solution in action on a customer’s website.

Let’s say you were online shopping for designer purses. Maybe you’re buying one for yourself and want a second opinion, or maybe you’re gifting someone and aren’t sure if it’s the right pick. Click on the “Shop with a friend” button and you can share a link, either via email or social media, for a friend to join you. This will launch a video conference and lead you to both looking at the same product page, bringing the real-world shopping experience to the Web.

I spoke with Alin Jayant, chief strategy officer and new business development at OpenClove, to discuss the company’s WebRTC development, differentiators and plans for the future.

OpenClove started out working what Jayant calls “difficult” video environments, mostly with 3G deployments, and it knew it needed to expand to something bigger and better for video to go across any device, any browser and any platform. So, it takes any SIP or WebRTC endpoint, mixes it in the cloud and enables seamless video online. 

Embedding OpenClove in a website is very simple: it can either work on in-depth applications with developers or it can give about five lines of code to put in a Web page to enable a widget and immediately start a video room.

The company aims to set itself apart by strong WebRTC execution in the retail market. There’s a lot to consider for the growth of this industry, however, like looking at analytics to determine when video is used, what behavioral changes are affected, what metrics would benefit retailers and figuring out what exactly to measure.

A similar industry it sees WebRTC impacting is education. The challenge lies in trying to recreate a real, face-to-face interaction, like a breakout room or setting up office hours. Jayant envisions an application where users can visit a website during a set time period – office hours – and interact with experts, professors or assistants. The idea is very similar to Google’s recently launched Helpouts.

It also hopes to capitalize on social engagement by integrating it into its solutions and pushing more for the integration of social and WebRTC. The company was recognized with a Santa Clara 2013 WebRTC Conference & Expo “Best Social Integration” award, so it is on the right track.

There’s still a long way to go with the development of WebRTC. “We’re all looking for an infection point; where it’s going to come into the mainstream,” Jayant said. He explained that once it does, WebRTC has the potential to disrupt almost every industry. Take real estate, for example. Prospective buyers could interact with agents through real-time video conferencing to see preliminary views of homes and neighborhoods. “But I don’t think a single real estate agent is thinking this way. We need to get it in the DNA of the end users, and therefore the implementers,” he said. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson


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