Communication hasn’t been the same since the onset of the pandemic, both personally and professionally. To thrive in the new normal, contextual engagement is the need of the hour. A truly engaging experience requires shared context. The ability to share the same space, hear the same audio, witness the same sights—these are the details that build bonds. Now that consumers are comfortable using video, they increasingly crave this shared context and expect to have video engagement directly inside the apps they are already using. Real Time Engagement (RTE) is a technology that is enabling this communication. Excerpts from an interview with Ranga Jagannath, Senior Director-Growth at Agora, the leading RTE and video, voice and live interactive streaming platform.
- What is RTE and how is it impacting the way brands communicate in a post-pandemic world?
Real-Time Engagement (RTE) is an acronym for “Real-Time Engagement .” It allows people to interact in any app, anytime, and anywhere. Developers may use RTE to create interactive video-chat-centered products that can grow to millions of concurrent users on any device, anywhere in the world. RTE provides the whole range of human interaction, from one-to-one to a few-to-million people. It allows developers to create interactive video-chat-based programs that can grow to millions of concurrent users on any device, anywhere globally.
Agora is the first RTE PaaS (Platform-As-A-Service) that can be fully contextualized and embedded into any application, on any device, anywhere.
Businesses discovered the value of utilizing RTE to keep people socially engaged while serving their business needs during the global pandemic. RTE has enabled and continues to assist companies in providing new services and communication capabilities to the masses in various ways, from live streaming to broadcasting to video conferencing and beyond. Businesses can create inspiring experiences by combining the right content with a live video solution to enhance engagement, brand exposure, customer loyalty, and sales.
For example, WedMeGood, a wedding marketplace, partnered with Agora to digitize wedding experiences during the pandemic. Using its streaming technology, Agora transformed the in-store strategy into a virtual platform, giving consumers access to India’s top brands.
- How is RTE powering sectors such as entertainment, OTT, gaming, education and healthcare?
Consumer behavior has changed since the pandemic, with digital usage redefining how brands interact. Education and healthcare were two industries that adopted real-time involvement quickly and easily.
Doctors and patients in the healthcare industry can communicate digitally in real time via voice, video chat, and live streaming. Patients can consult electronically and share their medical records thanks to features like crystal clear audio, smooth, real-time video, and integrated functionality.
RTE platforms can also help transition to an online education system in the ed-tech sector. Interactive voice and video-led software help maintain the core of a classroom by simulating the student-teacher interaction over the internet. With an integrated approach incorporating live video, a virtual whiteboard, screen share, and full-length recordings backed by layered security for data protection, new and exciting ways of providing education is made available.
Watch parties and the introduction of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into daily life are getting more popular in India. In dynamic virtual environments, businesses develop better, newer, and more innovative ways to communicate with their audiences. Examples include virtual workspaces, remote support, metaverses, avatars, and immersive activities. Social media influencers now produce on-demand video content and host live events that can reach millions of people. Every day, influencers throughout the world live-stream their lives for hours. Companies like Scener are seeing a growth in demand for audience-to-host, host-to-host, and co-watching experiences worldwide.
Gaming has become a social lifeline; any technology that can recreate it and provide real-time personal engagement online has become vital. RTE is empowering the online gaming space by integrating live interactive voice and video capabilities with various features like in-game voices, live interaction streaming, and AR effects that create an engaging social experience and entertainment around gaming. Intuitive and advanced Real-time engagement technology turns a remote multiplayer game into a social platform, allowing for enhanced user experiences. Along with “live” engagement and voice or video chat, players can see each other’s reactions, cheer, and socialize while playing games and creating memories together.
- What is the use of technology like AI in powering RTE?
The application of artificial intelligence for data anonymization will be the next step. Analyzing real-time human engagement to decode human emotions and engagement patterns will increase the personalization of products and services. AI is gaining significant traction from chatbots, voice recognition, and automated alerts. AI is indeed powering many of the top and emerging platforms and applications. RTE leverages the computing power of AI and ML algorithms on devices to render more clarity and sharpness and achieve lower bandwidth allocation during interactive streams. Whether engaging with clients or internal teams, businesses in various industries can leverage AI-powered engagement capabilities to create more dynamic live streaming experiences.
Agora, powered by AI, helps in features and services like auto-adjusting bit rates and frame rates, excellent jitter management, network estimation model, noise separation in real-time, highly efficient video encoding, super-resolution, powerful anti-packet loss mechanism, ultra-low latency, and others.
- What is the impact of RTE on emerging technologies like AR, VR, and Metaverse?
Businesses are developing inventive solutions to operate in the new normal in a post-pandemic environment. India will see an increase in the adoption of AR and VR technology. VR is undoubtedly a developing technology, and when combined with AR, it has the potential to transform the consumer experience by impacting the buyer’s path.
The backbone of real-time interaction platforms is undergoing a digital experiential revolution, with technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) assisting businesses in improving customer experience. AR and VR bring in immersive 3D, a captive experience, real-time interaction, and creative content. VR is used in shopping applications, e-commerce sites, virtual conferences, and real estate to increase customer engagement by successfully infusing 3D vision.
The ability to merge digital information with real-time interaction will be a game-changer. Digital worlds have the power to simulate real-world environments and even exceed the limits of reality to improve lives in multiple ways. AR and VR stand out in the race for their ultimate experience and versatile and engaging content.
Real-time engagement technology will enable connectivity between metaverses, creating an even more connected and engaging user experience. RTE will also lower barriers to admission by making access to the metaverse as simple as using a web browser. Metaverse uses VR to create digital avatars of yourself to experience real-world experiences virtually.
- Can you share some success stories of how companies leverage RTE to enhance customer experience?
In the last few months, we’ve witnessed a growth in businesses adopting and realizing the importance of RTE. Recent partnerships with organizations like Wipro, HTC Vive, and HP further solidify this.
- Agora partnered with Wipro to power the company’s RTE and communication solutions. Through the partnership, Wipro embeds Agora’s streaming video and voice solution in various practices to enhance the “real-time” experience for users. The solution includes implementing Augmented Reality (AR) into applications to deliver information to workers when needed.
- HP powers RTE for OMEN Oasis – a feature currently in beta and available through OMEN Gaming Hub. The integration allows up to 16 people to play their favorite titles in virtual watch party rooms.
- upGrad, one of India’s leading online higher education provider platforms, introduced the new upGrad Live platform in collaboration with Agora. The platform replicates a real-time classroom learning experience by providing greater interactivity, real-time doubt resolution, in-class concept check, and session analytics.
- Amid the pandemic, WedMeGood, a wedding marketplace provider, teamed with Agora to digitize wedding experiences. Agora was able to convert the in-store approach to a virtual platform using its streaming technology, allowing users to access India’s leading brands.
- Social networking app MeetMe makes dating fun by adding live video streaming. A new generation of workforce collaboration tools like Pragli and Airmeet are facilitating creative brainstorming and networking opportunities previously available only in person.
- Talkspace, a mobile therapy service, removes even more physical barriers to care by providing licensed therapists around the clock. Patients and therapists can sit down for engaging sessions on par with in-person therapy using live streaming.
- What according to you is the future of RTE?
The need of the hour for businesses is to keep customers at the forefront and build seamless online experiences to bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds. At the backbone of this revolution are RTE platforms enabling this virtual shift. Every area, from the workplace to healthcare to gaming, is experiencing unprecedented digital growth. As we advance towards a post-pandemic future, we focus on creating a virtual environment. Organizations may significantly improve their experience by providing higher-quality features.
We’re in the business of encouraging participation in all places where people live, work, and play. In a post-pandemic environment, India is seeing an increase in augmented reality and virtual reality technology use. We’re excited to work with companies to integrate real-time engagement solutions.