Digium Launches Respoke WebRTC Cloud Service

As a set of APIs, the WebRTC standard has the power to transform how communications are delivered inside the application experience, assuming developers can find a way to easily access it. To address that issue, Digium today unfurled Respoke, a cloud platform designed to allow developers to access WebRTC API as a service.

Steve Sokol, head of product at Respoke, says that while WebRTC is finally close to becoming a standard, developers have not flocked to incorporate WebRTC APIs inside their applications. Respoke, says Sokol, is designed to rectify that situation by making it much simpler to invoke a WebRTC service.

Included in the Respoke service running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a JavaScript library and support for RESTful APIs. Next up, Sokol says that Respoke will soon make SDKs available for Google Android and Apple iOS platforms.

Respoke is designed to support applications running inside a browser that supports WebRTC. But Sokol notes that developers can opt to use a variety of open source projects to embed WebRTC APIs into, for example, a desktop operating system.

As a business unit within Digium, which led the development the open source Asterisk IP communications platform, Respoke has the freedom to develop a cloud service without having to worry about the impact those innovations might have on existing communications platforms, Sokol says.

In addition, Sokol says that rather than charging customers using archaic telecommunications pricing models based on minutes, Respoke is charging customers based on a flat monthly fee that is determined by the amount of compute resources consumed. He says developers can go above the allocated compute resources on demand as Respoke has developed a metering application that keeps track of usage.

There are roughly 1.7 billion WebRTC-enabled devices in the world. But very few of them are actually running a WebRTC application. Sokol says that as support for WebRTC broadens in the coming year, there should be a significant pickup in the number of WebRTC applications being deployed.

While there are already a number of WebRTC platforms being exposed as a cloud service, Sokol says that because Respoke runs on AWS versus a smaller cloud platform, it will be much simpler for developers to incorporate Respoke within applications that already run on AWS.

In the meantime, the biggest issue when it comes to WebRTC may be simply educating users to the point where they demand that communications capabilities be routinely embedded inside their application experience. Once that occurs, says Sokol, developers will surely respond accordingly.

Michael Vizard
 

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