Respoke Launches Its WebRTC-Based Platform For Voice, Video And Text Chat Apps

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Digium, the company behind the popular open source Asterisk PBX software, today announced the official launch of Respoke, its WebRTC service backend for developers. Respoke joins a number of similar services like Bistri and Telefonica’s TokBox that also offer WebRTC-centric communications platforms.

Using Respoke, developers can use a single API to add features like video calling, real-time chat or screen sharing to their applications. Currently, the service mostly focused on the Web with a JavaScript library and REST API, but Respoke plans to launch betas of its Android and iOS SDKs within the next quarter. Internet Explorer and Safari don’t currently support WebRTC, but Respoke plans to release a plugin for them, too.

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While WebRTC is a great technology, its current iteration focuses on one-to-one peer-to-peer connections. Very often, though, firewalls and network configurations stop these direct connections. That’s where backend services like Respoke come in handy. They don’t just handle these kind of connections by using a media relay to enable these connections, but they also add other features that aren’t part of the WebRTC standard like managing login credentials and identities, presence and other features users expect from their communications apps.

Respoke also makes it easy for developers to allow users to make calls to phones. Unsurprisingly — given its heritage — the service also makes it easy to integrate Asterisk-based phone systems.

Digium incubated Respoke as a startup project within the company over the last few months. The service soft-launched a few months ago and since then, the team has added a number of features its early adopters asked for, including inbound and outbound calling, screen sharing and others.

Respoke’s pricing plans are based on how many concurrent connections you want to be able to support, how much media relay bandwidth you can use, and how many phone numbers and phone minutes you want. The basic plan with support for 5 concurrent connections and 5GB of media relay bandwidth is available for free. Paid plans start at $50 per month (50 connections, 50GB bandwidth, one phone number and 500 phone minutes).

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