Dialogic Blog

Media Servers and St. Patrick’s Day

by Jim Machi

Mar 17, 2015 9:30:00 AM


Last week I wrote about the important role media servers play in the network.  Today is St. Patrick’s Day and let’s see how SmartPhoneMan interacts with Media Servers. SmartPhoneMan is just like you and me.  He keeps a smartphone on him all the time and has interesting apps downloaded that he thinks makes his life better or allows him to stay in touch more easily.  Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day he has taken today off.  He starts his leisurely day going out for a walk to get coffee.  There is a line but he notices something new at the coffee shop – a kiosk. He decides to go over to the kiosk.  It talks to him and he talks to it, and he orders his coffee and pays by credit card.  The credit card is validated since they use a location based service to know where he is. He is his phone! He goes and gets his mocha latte and he finds he has kind of “jumped” the line since the kiosk put in his order when his credit card was validated, and likes that he doesn’t have to wait.  His life is great and his smartphone helped make it like that.

As he’s enjoying his coffee, he’s checking his social posts.  A funny picture reminds him he should call his sister, so he simply clicks and calls her.  And even though she’s away from her phone, she knows it’s him because he has a cool ring tone set up for her, so she answers it.  Once he hangs up, he goes back to checking social media.  And he starts getting ads inserted into the social media sites.  The coffee shop is telling him he can get 50 percent off a GREEN coffee.  It knows he’s there, it knows he’s been there a while so why not see if he can spend even more money?  So he does it, this time on the phone.  He goes over again to get another coffee and it’s ready in no time.  His life is great.

During this time, SmartPhoneMan also gets an urgent Short Message Service (SMS) from his pharmacy’s IVR.  His prescription is about to run out and they have a new prescription ready for him.  Even though it’s a bit out of his way, he’s in a good mood, it’s a nice day, and so he walks over there.

On the way home with his prescription, unfortunately he sees a fire at a business. Since there aren’t many people around, he takes action.  He takes a small video and texts it to 911.  Within a few seconds, he hears sirens so he knows it’s being taken care of.  He waits for the emergency responders to show up and gives his statement.

He’s in a rush to get home for the fantasy baseball draft.  Everyone is scattered across the country and uses different methods to call in – people call in from POTS phone, though not as many as the year before, some are on a laptop at home, some have a nice tablets on LTE networks, some are on cellphones, and a few have smartphones over Wi-Fi at a coffee shop.  After clicking a url, they get together for a nice video conference, including showing a video.  The draft goes on but SmartPhoneMan can’t execute a key trade he wanted to make since he’s not talking loud enough.  He realizes there is a “loudest talker algorithm” so he talks louder and is able to break in. Since SmartPhoneMan is late getting back to his house because of the emergency service text he made, so he has started the call on his smartphone but switches it seamlessly over to his large screen in his office once he gets home. He’s better able to participate in the draft this way.  Since he was getting excellent bandwidth on his smartphone he figures it wasn’t streaming HD to the smartphone since HD wouldn’t be necessary on such a small screen. But when he switches to the large screen at his home office, the picture is clear, so he knows the stream is now coming in with HD format.  And he remembers to talk loud so he can break in. He executes what he hopes is a key trade since he notices some interesting data that he hopes someone on a tablet can’t see.  He’s happy.  He’s not going to come in last this year!

During his fantasy draft, there has been a fire drill at work, so when SmartPhoneMan hangs up he finds seven voice mails on his phone. He listens to all of them and he knows he’s going to have to get to work today.  So he calls his wife and leaves a video mail. She’s used to looking at video on her phone since she is in the health services industry and they have increasingly been talking with remote patients using WebRTC and video, and they sometimes call her and leave video mails. They end up on a video call with each other though because they want to go out later and drink GREEN beer.  She’s talking to him from her laptop and he’s using his smartphone, so behind the scenes there are voice and video codec translations going on.  The call quality is excellent though and they agree on a place to meet to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

What I have described above is not beyond the realm of possibility for a normal day.  It describes real-time communications that enhance your day.  Some of these services could be revenue generating and some of these services simply tie the subscriber closer to the service provider.  With media servers being the engine behind many of these real-time applications, they will play an increasingly prominent role in the battle for who owns the LTE subscribers – the service provider, the phone provider, or the search engine itself.

What kind of cool apps that use media servers do you use?

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Topics: WebRTC