Video calling platform Talky is a teaser trailer for the future.
It is an ad for browser-based video calling, the kind that you’re already starting to see pop up in the form of online customer service portals, the kind you’ll eventually see on just about every site that wants to directly engage with users.
It’s a WebRTC app, which means it is ready to launch within your own browser without downloads, sign-ins, or personal details, and can be used to turn any website that sits within a major browser like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera into an instant video calling platform.
Talky is also an ad in the sense that the company behind it, &yet, wants you to buy it for your website or internal communications hub. That’s all fair enough, but it does mean using the current Talky product for actual video calls to your friends, colleagues, or clients feel a little sparse. Talky is instant, anonymous, robust, and effective, but it does feel like what it is–a part of a video calling solution, not the end result itself.
WebRTC Video Chat
As far as WebRTC trailers go, however, Talky is an effective demonstration of the open source technology’s main advantages–it is free, it is launched in seconds, it bridges devices, it requires no personal information, and, well, it works.
There are other, more rounded examples of WebRTC calling currently available, such as the much acclaimed appear.in, but Talky has the essential experience down.
You can launch your own video call for up to 15 people as quickly as you can think of and type in a name for your room. The room will remain functional as long as you need it, and you can return later for another call, or use it as a permanent link.
Once you send the room link to your friends–external email or messaging required–you’re done. There’s even a little game of Lander (a cute flash-style game where you try to land a rocket on a pink ledge) available to mess with should your friends be slow getting online.
The audio and visuals are solid, and I didn’t experience any hangups using it across a broadband-connected laptop or a 4G smartphone network. In terms of features, the only real one on hand is a screen sharing function, which conveniently restricts itself to the lower third of your room so the caller’s chat windows remain visible. Screen sharing can’t be launched on smartphone, but you can view the screen of another caller.
That’s not the only drawback to using Talky.
Gathering Your Friends Should be Easier
Seeing as it isn’t linked to any email, Facebook, or other social media site, there’s no book of contacts available in Talky, so you have to go outside the app to get everyone together. You also can’t access anyone’s diary to set up a meeting or easily check their availability.
That means a chain of emails or instant messages on other apps, and a potential 15-way back and forth before everyone is ready. Like we said earlier, this is a teaser for what WebRTC can do, and intended as just enough of a sample to get you interested in buying &yet’s technology and expertise.
That Talky Core product has all the standard features of an enterprise communication platform, with necessities like recorded meetings and customized rooms. There are a bunch of such providers willing to sell you a range of services from simple installation and self-managed servers right through to full customer service and cloud storage. Twilio and TokBox are two of the most popular, but there’s a long list of potential partners out there should you want to add live video calling to your own website.
Pretty soon it’ll be unusual not to have this kind of real-time connection available.
Six Billion WebRTC Applications
It is estimated that by 2019, half of all internet users will access WebRTC apps in some way, across more than six billion devices. Those numbers are hard to put in context, but once you have a go at using video calling over an app like Talky, you get a sense of ease and immediacy of these WebRTC connections.
It can be used to link users with doctors, retailers, emergency services, and utility suppliers. It can replicate any transaction you’d experience in store, and replace any help line or call center you can access over the phone.
Talky makes sense if you think of it, and use it, not as a means to regularly get face-to-face with friends–any click-to-call service is far more friendly–but as a way of getting to test drive the next wave of internet communications.
It’s just a teaser, but it should get you excited for the full experience to come.
Image source: Pexels user Pixabay