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WebRTC Solutions Week in Review: Deutsche Telekom, Digium, Cisco, Ericsson

August 15, 2015

WebRTC Solutions news this week showed Deutsche Telekom's replacement of standard messaging app, Digium's new software development kits for Android and iOS, Cisco's attempt to reform WebRTC codecs, and the future of Ericsson’s Connected Digger program.

Beginning this week in Albania, the country's Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary Telekom Albania recently announced that it has launched its own iPhone and Android app in conjunction with the Jibe IP Communications Cloud. The app will effectively replace the standard messaging app on a user's phone and will include video chat, video and photo sharing, and instant messaging complete with SMS and MMS support. Although many carriers have taken the approach of trying to beat over-the-top messaging systems such as this, Deutsche Telekom appears to be embracing it and offering business employees a better way to connect with one another in the office or across countries.

Speaking of Android and iOS, Digium recently announced that it has released software development kits for those mobile operating systems as part of its Respoke platform. Respoke gives developers the power to add voice and video to their apps by using JavaScript. That voice and video may come by way of WebRTC. The SDK also supports instant messaging and push notifications for use when users are online and offline. The biggest development in this release is the impact it has on business development that, with just a few lines of JavaScript, can greatly reduce the cost of adding these complex features to their own apps.

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Cisco also made news this week with the release of its Project Thor. This project attempts to provide a codec for WebRTC that is royalty-free and can eliminate the headache of dealing with the H.264 and H.265 codecs that are the industry standard. Unfortunately for everyone involved (expect perhaps those getting paid), these codecs are expensive, so Cisco has released its Thor code as open source to get the ball rolling for all developers who cannot afford the royalties. The company is reportedly working with the Internet Engineering Task Force for development of its NetVC and is interested in Mozilla's development of the Daala project—of which both projects also seek to solve this licensing dilemma.

Finally in news this week, Ericsson is trying to make inroads with the construction market with its Connected Digger project. Connected Digger first made a showing at the 2014 Mobile World Congress and then showed up the following year. Users could sample the project by maneuvering a small-scale excavator with a virtual reality headset and joystick. WebRTC-powered, the latest news regards its possible inclusion in construction efforts such as the expansion of the Suez Canal. Workers reportedly completed construction of the canal this week, but the digger technology could be valid for similar future projects. According to TMC, the onset of 5G mobile could provide a reliable and quick platform for the transfer of important data between diggers and Connected Digger headsets.

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