As the saying goes – Go Big or Go Home! Our community and teams have been busy putting those words into action, albeit the pandemic that has unraveled the world as the year started.
The unique challenges of a suddenly virtual global workforce and remote lifestyle has inspired our developers to utilize their unique skill sets in solving issues that are impacting their locale, technology and the world.
ICE London (February 2-4):
We kicked off the 2020 with a huge presence at the ICE London Conference, which brought together over 35,000 professionals and 600 solutions across all sectors of gaming. As innovators in the emerging technologies including the gaming space, we showcased our in-house solutions to potential customers and put a spotlight on some of our core clients who utilize our video and live-streaming solutions. Not only that, we wanted to understand the industry future-trends to stay ahead of the curve. Some of those trends around live-interactivity include eSports, casino game streams, sports gamification and online sports betting.
DeveloperWeek San Francisco (Feb 15-16):
Next, we stayed on home ground and attended the DeveloperWeek San Francisco Bay Area as both a sponsor and exhibitor. Since this was our playground, our Developer Evangelists, Shaocheng Yang and Hermes Frangoudis took the opportunity to share their knowledge about building with augmented reality (AR) and Android messaging applications.
Meeting with over 400 developers and product owners across multiple verticals throughout the event, there was an obvious trend of developers considering integrating real-time communication (RTC) as an essential part of their apps.
We were also very pleased and impressed with the ideas and projects that developers created within 48 hours at DeveloperWeek SF Hackathon. Developers from all walks of life came together and created several awesome apps. Some of the highlights include: A team of experienced AI researchers used the Agora Video SDK to build RockBand Live (Team Audia). Their app allows users to remove selected portions of audiotracks from the music list with AI. We also had a team of high school students who built a web app that allows professors to create unique class sessions and receive real-time feedback from students (Team Intellecture).
Now, let’s celebrate some of the works of the Agora Superstars!
About the Agora Superstars
Agora Superstars are passionate thought leaders in the RTC space. Each one of them has a unique technical specialty and background that pushes the boundaries of RTC technologies.
Be the First: Agora Flutter SDK Documentation
Since Flutter Technology was first released in 2017, it has gained a strong community base and become more growingly popular. At Agora, we strive to listen to our developer community feedback. That’s why we became the first in the industry to release the Agora Flutter SDK.
Our Flutter and ML/AI Agora Superstar, Meherdeep Thakur, took the initiative and effort to build the documentation for Agora Flutter SDK. With only two weeks, he was able to share the Agora Flutter Documentation and open-source code to the GitHub community developers at large. Check out the documentation here.
Meherdeep’s work reflects the exact spirit we continue to foster: build on great ideas and contribute your skills.
Creating Inclusive Experiences for Everyone: Sign Language Recognition App
In the US, more than 10% of the population suffer from some forms of hearing loss, which could range from mild to total deafness. While the whole world is moving fast towards real-time video and audio communication, hearing-impaired users have to go through the struggles to access and enjoy the same level of positive experiences.
To create an inclusive experience for everyone, Shriya Ramakrishnan, our Web and Python Agora Superstar, built a sign language recognition app using the Agora Video SDK. With this demo application, users can signal American Sign Language gestures in front of a webcam. The app not only understands the user’s message but is also able to pass the command to the computer.
Shriya’s sign language recognition app shows Agora’s dedication to creating truly inclusive and diverse applications for everyone to engage and interact in online communities everywhere, regardless of geographical or physical limitations.
Check out her blog here.
Evangelizing RTC Technology: Developer Community Engagement and Product Involvement
While some technology experts have extensive knowledge about the topic, most developers are new to the real-time communications arena. As the leader in the industry and to evangelize the RTC technology, we actively involve and engage with developers about this technology.
Ekaansh Arora, React Native Agora Superstar, in conjunction with some hubs, led the effort in hosting hackathons and workshops, including WomenTechies’20. WomenTechies’20 was a woman-centric hackathon organized by Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT). Ekaansh demonstrated how easy it is to embed RTC APIs for mobile, web, and desktop applications with React Native.
Our mission is to build a robust community with developers and for developers. We actively invite passionate developers to beta-test our products before they becomes public. Having a strong background with React Native, Ekaansh contributed to our latest React Native UIKit redesign, which aims to drastically reduce the React Native development time for thousands of developers.
These passionate Agora Superstars are not the only ones that we should recognize. We also had a united community and exciting programs launched in this quarter.
Hack the Virus, Hack the World: Hack for Wuhan Online Hackathon
Hackathons should be more than just building the next billion-dollar unicorn startups; hackathon spirit should be about uniting people of varying backgrounds. No matter if you are a developer, a designer, a creator, or a marketer, you should feel inspired to solve real-life issues.
Since the coronavirus crisis, where millions of people are living in a state of concern and despair, we saw several developer communities taking steps in empowering policymakers, patients, and doctors to combat coronavirus from different angles.
From March 5-7, Agora worked with 42 developer communities and partners, such as AngelHack and IBM, to host the Hack for Wuhan online hackathon. 345 participants from 33 different countries tackled different challenges caused by the pandemic. Some developers built a donation tracker, live medical supply analytics tool; others built a self-diagnosing app, AI-powered fake news detector, and other amazing projects.
Exclusive Agora UIKit Beta Access
One crucial way to engage the developer community is by listening to all the feedback and making adjustments accordingly. Many of you have expressed the frustration of the time-consuming process for the initial design of an app.
In early March, we were proud to launch the default UIKit designs for iOS, Android, React Native, and ARKit. These new designs will save time and effort for you while building applications. To give back to our community, we provided exclusive beta access to all developers in the Agora community. They were able to test out the new UIKit designs and provided feedback before they went public.
V-Chat@AllthingsRTC Video Podcast:
Due to the COVID-19 situation, many events have been postponed or canceled. However, it is an awakening moment for organizations and individuals to discover alternative solutions for people to gather together without risking health issues.
To keep the excitement of the postponed AllThingsRTC event going, we launched a V-Chat@AllThingsRTC fireside video podcast. In the first episode of V-Chat series, we invited Lalit Mangal, the Cofounder of Airmeet.com to talk about hosting virtual conferences, events and networking.
The episode aired on March 31. If you missed the episode, you can check out the recording below.
In the midst of all that is happening in the world, we are still working hard to make the Agora developer community the best in the industry. We engage in the community, collect feedback, and then continue improving the developer experience. We continue to stay united as we solve real issues and provide solutions such as tele-education tools, conference call apps, and telemedicine apps. With your innovative ideas and passion, we will get through this challenging time together.
Stay safe and healthy!
Developer Community Manager