A few things to investigate

I’ve been reading up on a few things recently, and I’ve come across the following interesting services.

Twilio (dotcloud tutorial here) is a service that allows for text to speech (and presumably vice versa), as well as SMS messaging and many other handy tips and tricks. One pays on a per call / per text basis as a function of the country and carrier.

Tokbox is a service that allows for multiple persons to interact concurrently on a website (hosted, say, on dotcloud). The first 25000 minutes of video streaming per month for 3+ persons at once is free, but beyond that they start to charge. That does seem like a lot, but if my site had 100 users, that’s 250 minutes of video per month per user, or an average of a bit over 4 hours of use before the limit was hit.

Regardless, the service itself is easily (at least, presumably easily) customisable to set up online conference rooms, or virtual whiteboards & collaboration spaces, etc. In fact, the idea of setting up a collaboration centre where people can collaborate on a file and then save it to disk seems like a nice idea. I probably would prefer not to keep any information permanently on the server, but if people could upload something – like google docs – and then be empowered to use various tools to modify it, while discussing the project – that would be really brilliant.

In particular, if people could collaborate on extremely complex projects like blender projects or artwork, that would be wonderful (though potentially a real headache to implement – unless somehow the software was emulated in the browser from the server somehow – I don’t know how you would do this). Possibly too hard.  But the idea of artists being able to collaborate on building assets for things (such as, but not limited to, Unity games), on a service I provide, has definite appeal and is definitely worth trying to work towards, at least in terms of finding out why such an app would be hard to write.

Zypr (see also here) is a Siri – like voice activated service that amalgamates / aggregates a great deal of 3rd party APIs to simplify the task for the developer. Apparently the profit model here is advertising revenue, with a split to the developer. I’m not quite sure how this is done, but it doesn’t seem too bad, and bears further investigation.

Probably on my to-do, I’d like to fool around with Twilio a bit first, then move on to Tokbox and see if there are any easy goals to be made there.

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