Twilio Video, a communications infrastructure service that enables developers to add multi-person peer-to-peer video to any app, was introduced as a private beta test on Tuesday.
"Twilio's mission has always been to open up communication by moving into software," said CEO Jeff Lawson in a phone interview.
Lawson said that video calling will become an important communication channel in many different apps. He pointed to the way that Uber uses Twilio's voice calling technology to provide contextually relevant communication between passengers and drivers in the Uber app.
"Imagine you're in a car accident and you launch your insurance company's mobile app to send video straight to the adjustor in real-time," said Lawson. "We believe that video with use-cases like this will become part of the mobile experience."
Twilio Video includes four-way peer-to-peer calling and supports the ability to shift dynamically between video and voice as needed. It's designed to handle call registration and signalling, and to scale as needed with no limit on the number of video connections.
Twilio Video is based on WebRTC, a Web-based standard for communicating through browsers and mobile apps without the need to download special plugins. WebRTC offers an open framework for real-time audio and video conferencing, but it leaves the backend implementation to developers. Mozilla's Firefox Hello conferencing software offers an example of what can be done with WebRTC.
Twilio Video includes software development kits (SDKs) that aim to simplify the process of embedding video communications in apps and of creating the cloud infrastructure to handle backend connectivity and routing.
Zendesk, a cloud-based customer service provider, is among the companies testing Twilio's video capabilities. "With Twilio Video, Zendesk can seamlessly add communication capabilities to our platform and enable companies to have high-quality, real-time conversations with their customers," said Adrian McDermott, SVP of product development at Zendesk, in a statement.
Twilio plans to provide more information about the service at its Signal developer conference next month. Last month, the company launched a related business communication service, Elastic SIP Trunking.
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