General

Q: What is this service all about?
A: It demonstrates WebRTC, a new technology build into web browsers. It is a service to easily connect with others.
Q: Why should I use it?
A: For one or many of the following reasons:
  • You want to experience all the buzz around "WebRTC" yourself
  • You like the convenience of being reachable literally by the click of a link
  • You enjoy high-definition audio and video communication - something telephony does not offer.
Q: Why do we develop an application that does not support Internet Explorer, the standard defined in Slovak Telekom?
A: The reasons are as follows:
  • The application is a proof of concept implementation only. People are encouraged to use, but it does not (yet) replace an offical internal application.
  • For a commercial product, we would of course need to make a conscious decision that may differ than the one for the PoC. If we were not focusing on “demoing WebRTC” but “rolling out a full-fledged web application for communications with maximum market reach” we would need to address the lack of support in IE and Safari. This can be done by using plug-ins and is no big hassle, however, our internal resources did not allow for this.
  • We are not too happy about this either, because we have to tell people to open it only in a certain browser like in the old days. We do believe however that it is way better that not getting to know the technology at first hand and showcasing that communications experiences in high definition can now be achieved with a fair amount of coding by anyone, and the outcomes even without much effort/budget are pretty impressive.
Q: How much effort did it take to build the service?
A: Countless hours of self-studies and around 1 month working long nights during most of the week-days for the basic version. The estimate is around 20 man-days so far in total.
Q: Why build it ourselves, there are tons of new tools popping up every day?
A: True, we did it anyways.
  • We want to gather experiences ourselves
  • It is good to know the actual efforts and also test a WebRTC frameworks hands-on
  • We can do changes based on your feedback
  • We are able collect statistics about the usage of the platform and improve it
Q: How can I get a profile picture?
A: Profile pictures are provided by Gravatar. It is an external hosting service for avatars that is used by many websites around the Internet. It is up to every individual user to create an account there and link their respective profile picture with the E-mail address used to identify towards the C-Peak service.

Technology

Q: How did you build it?
A: The service front-end is build using HTML5, CSS (Bootstrap, quite obviously), cookies, and JavaScript. It connects the media sources (cam, mic) and manages the audio channel using WebRTC APIs provided by the browser. The back-end uses Node.js (server-side JavaScript) with several modules and a database.
Q: When will it work with Internet Explorer?
A: Once either Microsoft offers WebRTC capable APIs or the framework plugin is ready to be integrated.
Q: Why is everything here so technology focussed?
A: The proof of concept started within the technology unit and we focussed on getting something usable out at first. We are working on improving the design, but also require feedback from non-technical people about problems or difficulties. Many things that seem obvious for us are far from that, and most likely we didn't address them properly or clear enough. Please, let us know and we will fix it :)
Q: How come I hear a sound when I receive a message, but it does not appear on my home portal?
A: While every guest appears with a single button on your home portal (even those that are called the same), a guest user has only one 'Send' button. If you experience this issue you most likely have more than one host window open. This does not cause issues for the functionality and communication can be established from any of them, however, only the oldest host window displays the chat message.

Security

Q: How do you handle personal data?
A: The user signs up using his mail address and can alternatively provide a phone number. Both is only added if confirmed by verification mail/SMS. No other personal data is shared at the moment. The guest knows only the mail address of the user, which he has anyways. He can send a mail (optionally SMS if the user provided the phone number) via the app, but this is handled server side and the phone number is not displayed to the external or internal guest user.
Q: What other meta data is gathered?
A: We gather analytics data and store server logs (HTTP connect logs) like any normal web site/server does.
Q: How long is the content of the communication message available/stored?
A: No communication content is stored server side. In fact, the entire communications path is encrypted. The signaling is decrypted on the server-side to communicate with the server and the media is encrypted end-to-end (i.e. between the browsers that participate in a session).

© Slovak Telekom, 2014-2017