Tivia is a new WebRTC app for group communications. Yet Tivia doesn’t use WebRTC…
Let’s start with what Tivia currently does:
- Tivia is Slack. Except for community groups and events. Tivia is purpose built for private group communication
- Tivia group communication includes: instant group messaging; schedule events on shared group calendar; Dropbox integration; private media sharing; bulletin boards.
- Tivia is strictly private. No public groups. Even within your group, your personal contact info is not shared.
- Tivia prioritizes speed and reliability: mobile notifications; delivery reports; indicator of who is typing as they type (integration with the awesome PubNub services).
- Tivia has a full app for iPhone and Android, yet is all inclusive. Group members with other phones automatically receive group messages via text message.
Ok, so Tivia is a nice app for private group communication. Well, almost. There is no voice. Or video. Or even WebRTC data channel features. Yet. So what gives?
Well, Tivia can use WebRTC to add video chat or group conference calls as features. One touch in a private group and you start your conference. PINs? DTMF? Email invites? Dial plans? Directories? No thanks. No legacy conferencing baggage because Tivia started with the group and messaging, and WebRTC then enables Tivia to add RTC as a feature. That’s WebRTC magic.
And WebRTC magic goes well beyond conferencing. How about when Tivia groups want feeds from the Internet of Things (IoT)? Alerts, video clips, photos, sensor data? WebRTC. I actually think we will soon have more asynchronous voice, video and data streams from IoT than we will have full duplex human conversations.
And of course WebRTC extends to collaboration via data channel (ok, once there is a bit more work to tighten the security or give the user more knobs). Here too though it is best to start with messaging and start with groups. WebRTC magic makes this easy.
This is the under appreciated magic of WebRTC. You can build your experience, while knowing you can easily integrate RTC as a feature via WebRTC, whenever and however makes sense. Of course, you could start from the other side, meaning start your communications app with voice and video. But I think the world is going the other way (read Tsahi’s nice post here for example).
Groups and identity. Messaging. Asynchronous communication. IoT streams. RTC as an integrated, contextual feature in many apps. This is where the world is going, and this is why WebRTC is much more magical than if we view WebRTC as just another option for communications apps. As a developer, you can start with the experience, and should, and usually that means starting with messaging and groups (or whatever social graph your application is going to leverage).
WebRTC is not just an option to build communications apps. WebRTC is the best way to integrate RTC into your experiences. And the magic of WebRTC is it enables you to build your experience in the order that makes sense, and seamlessly include RTC within the context of that experience.Google+