Deployment Options for Real Time Applications: What’s Best?

by ted.venema 25. August 2016 20:00

So you’ve created a great new RTC application. Now what? What’s the best way to deploy it? As with most things in life, there’s no one perfect way. The best deployment solution for you depends on a number of factors, like what your app does, what your environment is like and what you’re familiar working in.

There are three overall ways to deploy your new RTC app, each with its own set of pros and cons.

App Deployment Services

Pros: Using a PaaS, in WebRTC sometimes known as a Cloud Communications Platform, will make things as easy as possible to create and deploy your app.

Cons: This offers the least amount of control over settings and capabilities in your app, as you are forced to adopt whatever limitations come with your chosen platform.

If you’re not sure where to TURN when it comes to deployment, you should probably use a complete PaaS to save yourself time and potential problems. Especially if you didn’t get the pun in that sentence.

Cloud Hosted WebRTC Platforms

Pros: All-in-one cloud hosting for STUN/TURN servers allows for easy, instant deployment of your RTC app. A notable example is Xirsys.

Cons: You get what you pay for and convenience isn’t cheap. Many cloud-based platforms charge on usage minutes, which can add up fast. Others charge on bandwidth, which is a little more affordable. You also don’t get the level of control you would with your own servers.

If you’re rolling out an enterprise-level app, cloud hosting is probably not for you just for the level of control offered, and pricing. If you’re just starting out or launching an app as a small, independent developer, cloud hosted deployment may be a wise use of your time.

Self-Deployment

Pros: Self-deployment gives you the most control over your entire environment and all settings. If your app is complex or has unique needs, and you’re an advanced developer, this is a huge bonus.

Cons: With great power comes great potential for everything to go terribly wrong.

If you’re not a pro at configuring your own STUN and TURN servers, VPS, or troubleshooting server issues when they happen, this is probably not the best option for you.

In summary, one size does not fit all, and each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Choose wisely.

Tags:

programming | webrtc

How WebRTC is Disrupting Traditional Customer Experience

by ted.venema 15. August 2016 21:07

WebRTC is changing many facets of our everyday lives, as developers and as consumers. Most consumers are using WebRTC without even realizing it or understanding how it works. And that’s the point — WebRTC should be silent, unknown, in the background. What should be loud, known and right in front of the consumer is an amazingly positive customer experience and brand interaction. WebRTC is increasingly powering this interaction.

Many brands are jumping at the chance to reach their customers in new, exciting ways using WebRTC.

Amazon Mayday Button

Amazon’s Mayday button is a pretty slick tool. WebRTCHacks published an article investigating whether the button was using true WebRTC or not, with the consensus that it most likely uses WebRTC video, though perhaps not audio.

Created for use with the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, the Mayday button connects users with a real, live Amazon tech support rep at the push of a button, 24/7/365. That rep can talk to you via two-way voice and data (they see what’s on your screen in real-time), draw on your screen to explain things, or even do a task for you.

This level of VIP concierge tech support, available whenever customers need it in the comfort of their own homes using any device, is impossible without the use of WebRTC. As more companies adopt technology like this to offer the best support, customers’ expectations for it will increase.

Telehealth Services

In addition to retail and ecommerce customer support, WebRTC is also changing the way other industries provide experiences, like healthcare.

There are a number of apps out there now that allow consumers to see a doctor online, using two way WebRTC audio/video and data communication. Notable examples are First Opinion in the US, which allows you to talk to a doctor for free but charges $39 for prescriptions, and MDLive which charges $49 per visit. EQ Virtual is another two way voice and video app to see a doctor, and is free for patients to use in British Columbia, Canada.

As WebRTC becomes more integrated into customer experiences around the world, and more brands jump on board, providing this new level of customer experience will become expected by consumers.

Don’t get left behind.

Tags:

webrtc

SmartShow Launches Innovative WebRTC Based Software for Real Estate Showings

by ted.venema 28. April 2016 04:01

Developed using Frozen Mountain’s IceLink and WebSync products, SmartShow allows buyers located anywhere in the world to participate in home showings.

A first of its kind WebRTC application created specifically for the real estate industry, SmartShow is a game changer for realtors. Powered by Frozen Mountain Software’s IceLink (audio/video streaming) and WebSync (signaling) products, SmartShow works seamlessly across all browsers, native platforms and devices including smartphones, tablets and SmartGlasses.

Once a realtor schedules a showing in their SmartShow account, a QR code is generated. When the realtor scans the QR code with their phone, tablet or SmartGlasses, the showing automatically begins. SmartShow was designed to be easy to use for realtors, regardless of their level of comfort with technology. Remote buyers can be located anywhere, and simply click a link in an email to either participate in the showing or view the recorded showing later using any web browser.

Powered by IceLink and WebSync, SmartShow incorporates a multi-point control unit (MCU) to mix the audio and a selective forwarding unit (SFU) for faster routing of the video without decompression. All audio/video is also recorded on a central recording server for later viewing. The recorded video contains everyone’s comments — from the realtor or local buyer touring the house, and also all remote participants.

Frozen Mountain has built their IceLink WebRTC stack from the ground up and although IceLink makes use of other implementations such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Microsoft ORTC as appropriate, IceLink is not reliant on these other implementations. Using IceLink’s cross-platform API ensures that SmartShow will be compatible across all browsers, native platforms and devices, now and into the future.

SmartShow is the first application to use Android SmartGlasses for real estate sales. SmartShow will run on the Vuzix M300 SmartGlasses, which will be released in mid to late 2016. Support is planned for other models of SmartGlasses as well. SmartShow can be used with smartphones and tablets, so using SmartGlasses is optional, but they are the way of the future for applications such as SmartShow.

Realtors love using SmartShow to connect and build relationships with out-of-town or out-of-country clients. In addition, SmartShow can save clients thousands of dollars in travel costs versus flying out to view a property in person. With SmartShow, remote buyers can see a home as if they were walking through it, and ask questions in real-time, just like they’re right there in the room with their realtor.

Visit smartshow.com for more information about the SmartShow application, or our products page for more information on real time communications solutions using IceLink and WebSync.

Tags:

icelink | icelink, webrtc | news | webrtc

Support for Microsoft Edge ORTC is Here!

by ted.venema 15. October 2015 03:09

Frozen Mountain Software is pleased to announce that IceLink now supports plug-in-free ORTC-based audio and video streaming for the upcoming Microsoft Edge Browser on Windows 10.

“We have always said that as soon as Microsoft announced support for ORTC, we would as well,” said Ted Venema, VP of Business Development for Frozen Mountain. “We are pleased that the time has come and IceLink now supports plug-in-free audio and video streaming in Edge using the same API IceLink has today.”

Plug-ins will still be required for Internet Explorer applications but IceLink’s support for the plug-in-free ORTC environment, along with IceLink’s current plug-in for Internet Explorer provides support for both browsers. This allows Internet Explorer users to seamlessly migrate from Internet Explorer to the plug-in-free Edge environment over time.

ORTC and the WebRTC standard supported by Chrome, Firefox and Opera do not provide the same API. IceLink eliminates this problem by providing a single peer-to-peer streaming API that covers WebRTC/ORTC browsers, Internet Explorer, Safari on Mac, as well as native iOS, Android, .NET, Mac and Xamarin environments. Once Edge is released, current customers need only update to the latest version of IceLink to take advantage of ORTC support – there are no API changes.

Video in Microsoft Edge ORTC is not fully compatible with other browsers. As a result, IceLink supports audio conferencing across all browser and native platforms including Edge, but video conferencing is currently limited to Edge browsers. Edge only supports the Skype variant of the H.264 codec, which is not compatible with other browsers and native platforms. Microsoft has announced plans to update Edge to a more broadly compatible version of H.264. When this happens IceLink will seamlessly take advantage of the new H.264 support, providing additional interoperability with H.264 support in other browsers as well as native platforms.

Click here to download the latest version of IceLink.

For more information on Frozen Mountain and IceLink contact:

Ted Venema
VP Business Development
ted.venema@frozenmountain.com
604-288-2150

Tags:

icelink | icelink, webrtc | news

IceLink and WebSync Put the ‘Tele’ in Telehealth at ATA’s Fall Forum

by ted.venema 26. September 2015 00:38

Frozen Mountain was pleased to attend the American Telemedicine Association’s 2015 Fall Forum in Washington, DC from September 16-18th. The annual conference draws North American healthcare professionals together to discuss how telehealth solutions can positively impact efficiency and quality of patient care.

Many hospitals and healthcare agencies are using legacy systems for data transmission, storage and communication. Systems like these were needed in the past, but are now becoming dated as the business world increasingly moves toward an Internet of Things model. For the health industry, that means integrating physical objects, such as machines that capture vital signs, with a network infrastructure which allows for data from physical devices to be collected and exchanged.

Much of the new technology being unveiled in the telehealth industry focuses on the interaction between the hospital and the doctor. While these tools are important for improving patient care, Frozen Mountain’s telehealth solutions also loop in the home environment in order to form a complete solution for hospitals, doctors, patients and home care/support staff.

Frozen Mountain’s award-winning real-time communications products — IceLink and WebSync — put the “tele” in telehealth by allowing cross-platform and native WebRTC support for your telehealth apps and software.

Learn more about our products, or contact us to discuss custom solutions for your telehealth needs.

Tags:

icelink, webrtc

Screen Sharing Added to IceLink

by ted.venema 20. August 2015 01:54

Share Your Screen From Any Device on All Platforms - Browser or Native!

Frozen Mountain is pleased to announce that it has added Screen Sharing support to IceLink on all platforms – both browser and native – covering Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer (Windows), Safari (Mac), Windows (.NET), Mac, Java, iOS, Android and Xamarin.

For security reasons, iOS and Android only allow access to the window of the application, so sharing is limited to that level in those environments. Web browsers and native desktop applications can share their entire screen.

“As our own natively written WebRTC stack, IceLink has always been fully customizable as to where media is captured from and where it is rendered to, even allowing you to write your own custom providers,” said Ted Venema, VP of Business Development. “What we have now added is an 'out-of-the-box' video provider that captures screen images and sends them through standard IceLink WebRTC connections.”
 
The release of screen sharing will complete the functionality being delivered as part of the IceLink 2 series of releases. IceLink 3 has now begun development and will include a number of new features including H.264 support and “out of the box” recording capabilities.

Click here to download the latest version of IceLink!

Tags:

icelink | icelink, webrtc | release

IceLink Goes Beyond Audio/Video WebRTC to Support Reliable Real-Time Messaging & Data Transfer On All Platforms Anywhere

by ted.venema 18. July 2015 00:01
IceLink is an award-winning WebRTC solution, and the first of its kind to add support for reliable data channels across all platforms.

IceLink, winner of the Best WebRTC Tool 2015 at the WebRTC World conference, can now be used for text chat, file transfers and all forms of data streaming easily across all browser and native platforms that are currently supported.

Reliable data channels mean that when data is received, it arrives exactly as it was sent in real-time without consuming server-side resources - eliminating file corruption, lost messages, and connection errors. Need a client to upload a file while you're conferencing with them? No problem. IceLink uses a UDP protocol for audio/video conferencing and reliable data channels for data streaming. Having the conferencing and the data streaming connections on separate protocols allows for them to run parallel to each other in real-time, while also keeping server load down.

With IceLink, you get fast, easy and accurate data streaming between peers without consuming server bandwidth.

IceLink has entered a whole new world of collaboration.

Discover what’s possible with the latest version of the world's leading WebRTC product! Click here to download the latest version.

Here's What Else is New in IceLink 2.0:

IceLink's DTLS security engine has been upgraded from DTLS 1.0 to DTLS 1.2. We have also added support for 4 new cipher suites, 2 of which implement perfect forward secrecy (PFS).

Vastly improved IceLink audio engine. Audio quality on Android in particular has been improved, but all platforms should see audio that plays back smoothly without any "growing latency".

Forward error correction for VP8 video is now present on all platforms and enables automatically if packet loss over 5% (configurable) is reported. The result of this is significantly improved video quality on shaky networks.

Software-based acoustic echo cancellation for Opus audio is available for Android and .NET and helps to eliminate echo when using the device speakerphone.

IceLink now supports software-based volume control within the SDK for incoming and outgoing audio streams.

Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Mac SDKs for IceLink, WebSync, and TheRest have been updated to use the new Xamarin Unified API.

We thank all of you for your continued interest and support of Frozen Mountain!

Tags:

icelink | news

Frozen Mountain Wins Best WebRTC Tool Award!

by ted.venema 19. May 2015 21:43

As further confirmation of the power and quality of WebSync and IceLink, Frozen Mountain was awarded the "Best WebRTC Tool" award by a  panel of industry experts at the recent WebRTC Conference and Expo held in Miami. 

Tags:

news

Frozen Mountain Presents at WebRTC 2015 Expo

by ted.venema 15. May 2015 02:26

Frozen Mountain was pleased to highlight its IceLink product at the recent WebRTC Expo held in Miami!  We presented in in three sessions covering various aspects of WebRTC and had many great discussions at our booth.

Tags:

news

Frozen Mountain Announces IceLink 2.5.2 Update Release – Sender/Receiver Reports and Performance Improvements

by ted.venema 18. December 2014 01:14

IceLink 2.5.2 adds sender/receiver reports on packet loss and jitter to all the platforms that IceLink supports. These reports can be used by an application to improve audio/video quality by dynamically adjusting codecs settings based on the feedback provided. The first customers to use this feature have incorporated the capability in under 2 days and have indicated they are now able to control their audio/video quality in ways that are specifically tuned to their applications.

As WebRTC applications roll into ever higher volume production, IceLink continues to maintain its position as a performance leader.  IceLink 2.5.2 provides updated Opus and VP8 codecs which have been tuned to further minimize memory allocation thus providing substantial performance boosts, especially for video. The IE ActiveX plugin now also contains the Visual C++ runtime library to simplify its use. For Xamarin users, native code for capture/playback is used to improve performance in the Xamarin environment, in addition to migrating to the Xamarin Unified API.

For iOS and Xamarin users, IceLink 2.5.2 provides complete 64-bit support in preparation for Apple’s requirement that all new applications be 64-bit by February 1, 2015.

"We are excited about the number of new customers using IceLink as well as the number of exisiting customers moving to ever higher volume applications," said Ted Venema, VP Business Development.  "IceLink 2.5.2 is a continuation of Frozen Mountain's commitment to provide a high performance, feature-rich real time communications architecture that encompasses WebRTC as well as other RTC capabilities such as chat, broadcasting, messaging and HTTP/Push."

 

Tags:

icelink, webrtc | news