WebRTC World Feature Article

June 17, 2014

WebRTC: 'Now it's About Implementation' Argues TokBox

While enterprises of all sizes and across all verticals look to integrate live video into their products, TokBox is focused on one central goal: making that process—such as developing an app for one-to-one calls or for complex large-scale broadcasts—seamless, simple and efficient.

“The company was founded in 2007, and it started as a consumer video chat service,” TokBox  CEO Scott Lomond told Webrtcworld at the WebRTC Conference & Expo, taking place from June 17-19 in Atlanta, Georgia. “Friends and family would get together and use TokBox to do video chat and consumer- and entertainment-oriented communication. But we started to receive a lot of demand from developers, corporations and colleges to be able to take the video and embed it into those companies’ websites. They wanted the functionality but inside their own websites.”

So TokBox began to evolve its mission, centering today on changing the way in which people communicate online. The company develops and operates OpenTok, a global service that enables companies to add live face-to-face video experiences to any web or mobile property. Touted as a flexible, nimble platform, OpenTok focuses on bringing superior experiences to the browser or device through simple APIs.

As of late, much of the company’s energy is devoted to R&D on WebRTC, especially since TokBox was one of the first companies to embrace the technology as a platform starting in mid 2012. Currently, the company is pursuing three vectors within its platform: making it even simpler for developers to use the platform; boosting the quality of the video experience you get when you use OpenTok; and bringing enhanced functionality to the offerings.

In line with those core focuses, TokBox is focusing on expanding support of all mobile platforms, integrating x86 chipset support and focusing on hardware acceleration. On the business front, the company is centered on playing a vital role in the transformation rocking the industry.

“Previously, we had been engaged with large opportunities at the pilot level where innovators were trying out WebRTC to see how it could become part of their business,” Lomond said. “Now, that phase is over and we are shifting into second gear. We have learned what we need, and now it’s about implementation.”

“The back half of this year will be about shifting WebRTC away from the experimental stages and very much into real production assets,” he added.

TokBox has its eye on four emerging verticals: banking and finance; education; healthcare; and e-retail support. And it helps that the market is ready to play in the WebRTC space. As Lomond explains, the market is much more educated this year than they were the year before. Executives understand that it’s becoming a very real possibility to put live video on a website. In the past, it used to be innovative to simply show recorded video or animated video, but today companies are focused on integrating live video into their website. 

“People are getting their heads around what that means—the fact that anything that can run a browser can be a telephony communication endpoint,” Lomond said. “That’s a big psychological shift. We are only seeing the leading edge of how creative people will be in using the product.”

While attending the WebRTC Conference & Expo, TokBox will have plenty of time to share its market predictions and innovations with attendees. Today, TokBox CEO Ian Small led a keynote presentation which included a demonstration of an application the company built for an online customer as well as education about its voice recognition software.

For TokBox, the conference is a great chance for the company to see where the WebRTC industry is headed and network with innovators in the space.

“When we first came to Atlanta several years ago, it was very much a vendor technology oriented show and as we have gone through them we are seeing more potential customers come through to learn about this ecosystem and that’s very exciting,” Lomond said. “It confirms that it’s less about experiments and pilots and more about commercial applications.”

“We look forward to interacting with the non-vendor entities that come to the show to learn about WebRTC,” he added. “We are always interested to see what the other players are doing.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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