In conversation with Team Miljul

Today (June 12) marks the completion of 3 months since we launched the free Miljul Web app. During these 3 months, we did two iterations of the app, made a few mistakes, and are now wiser for the experience.

Thank you users !
Thank you users !

Miljul has been used for over 4000 calls in these 3 months, and for a fledgling start-up with no budget for marketing, this is not bad. We are still very much unknown in the market, but we know our time will come. Importantly, we now have data about these calls, the snags people may have faced while using Miljul, and critically we have a handle on how much would it cost us to give the service free.

And so, we decided to give ourselves a few questions to answer. Some of the questions are what ‘potential mentors’ have asked us and some we wish they’d asked us or that a journalist would ask us 🙂

Is Miljul still in beta?

Yes, our philosophy is that we are in perpetual beta. We will keep improving the app and adding more features.

Who has been using Miljul?

A good number of our visitors have come from places we never thought would be possible for us to reach.  Of all the users since release, 70% are from India and US. This is not surprising. Most of our network lives in these two countries. The few calls from UK, UAE etc, can also be attributed to our network effect.

But what explains users coming from Ivory Coast, Costarica, Nigeria, Tanzania, and the significant number of calls from Russia and other East European countries? We have users accessing the service from Mongolia, South Korea, and of course China as well. And we have a mobile responsive site. No mobile apps yet.

Our initial thinking was that we are doing a bit of Twitter marketing and basic SEO stuff, and that is probably driving app developer traffic from some of these countries to simply check out what we have done with WebRTC. And that this traffic would end once those developers see that we just have a simple video calling Web app – there are dozens of such Web apps by now in US and EU, and every expert says this space is saturated. (The experts recommend that we find a niche business process that could be disrupted with the addition of browser based video communication.)

We still don’t know why we are getting so many users from Africa and Eastern Europe. We hope they are finding Miljul useful. These unknown users are helping us keep faith in what we are doing. Big thanks!

So, what are you guys at Miljul trying to do?

Our vision is to bring technology within the reach of people, for social and business impact. Our current mission is WebRTC-powered video communication for online professional services.

The free Miljul Web app is the first step in that direction – allowing us to chart a course with the help of data.

We are working on adding the features that would make Miljul a complete suite of tools for personal and business communication, covering multiple contexts. Our focus is on building a set of compelling user experiences that will make Miljul the preferred choice for professionals who want to video enable their business or services.

Can you explain a bit more?

Sure. Sriram is an investment adviser, and helps his clientele (mostly individuals/couples, urban professionals) manage their stocks, mutual fund investments, insurance policies, and fixed deposits. All these activities involve a lot of paperwork. Sriram and his team are on the ‘field’ most of the day, visiting people at their offices, coffee shops, or at homes – to give advice, collect cheques, and complete the paperwork. There are times when his clients visit Sriram’s office to complete the work, and this involves a lot of planning on their part, including taking a few hours or even a day off.

Miljul wants to solve Sriram’s pain. Using Miljul, Sriram and his clients can connect via live video call, review and complete the documents, and exchange signed documents. They save on travel time, fuel costs, and still benefit from face to face communication. If Sriram wishes so, he can add the Miljul widget to his business web site/profile page. He can record his answers to the FAQs on a particular investment opportunity – and share the video link with his clients. Sriram can offer paid advisory sessions charging a per hour rate. Instead of spending time waiting in the living rooms of his clients, he can use the time to grow his business. Sriram’s clients will know that he is just a video call away, and that a task that should take only 10-15 minutes, will not require a 2 hour break from work.

Don’t we have Skype, Google Hangouts etc. already?

Yes, we have them, but these tools are generic and have a walled garden approach. If Sriram wants to do Skype with his client, they both need to have Skype Ids (forced to have Microsoft Ids actually), install the Skype software, and add each other as contacts. That’s just the beginning. Features like screen share, file transfer, call recording, cloud video storage and on-demand streaming- have either limitations (screen share possible only in 1-on-1 video calls on Skype), or require multi-tasking between different apps in the walled garden. Skype is a trailblazer and enormously successful, but needs to adapt to the new demands from the market. Google Hangouts is a great tool (Helpouts was even better!), but is again a standalone tool.

So, Miljul wants to be a market place for professionals?

Yes, and No. Miljul is focused on bringing the various features needed for multiple contexts together, so that users can choose the feature they need, when they need, all from within a single Web/mobile app. Most of the features will be free- and we expect to charge some amount for premium features. We want people to use our widget/s. We also want to help businesses embed RTC in their processes. We are currently working on an exciting idea in the health care domain with another start-up. We want non-profit organizations to benefit from Miljul and so, willing to build for free or very low cost custom solutions for NGOs working in agriculture, education, conservation etc.

At some point, if we need to pivot towards becoming a market place, we are open to that direction. Right now, our focus is on getting the features to work together and making it a stable product.

Which other professions have you thought of?

What works for investment advisers, would also typically work for Chartered Accountants, Auditors, Lawyers and the like. Teachers will need a white board in addition (so, everyone gets the feature!); Recruiters may use the recording function more and so, will need a dashboard definitely to track all the interview sessions they do. And so on. Personally, the idea of learning music or a language online through a personal tutor appeals a lot to us. But music and language teachers will probably need some additional features, including a knowledge base that students can access. Such ideas lend themselves better in a market place scenario, because we would also need to bring the students to these teachers.  Boutique fashion designers, chefs, personal trainers, management consultants, spiritual Gurus – anyone should be able to use Miljul premium features and enhance their reach.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Talent – identifying the right talent, trying to get them interested in what we are doing, and on boarding them. In spite of the many start-up hiring events and portals, it is still not an easy task to build the kind of team we want. We continue to look for exceptional talent to join us.

When are you planning to go live with all these premium/paid features?

We are targeting end July. Watch this space!

Sounds like a plan. No dreams of becoming a WebRTC API Platform as Service provider?

Like Twilio and Tokbox?

Yes.

Ok, we definitely feel that the Indian market needs someone like Twilio or Tokbox to spread the awareness among developers and businesses –and make WebRTC proliferate.  The space is wide open, and traditional telcos seem to be fighting against the trend (net neutrality debate) than leading the change. In parallel, these telcos have also launched OTT services (Hike, Jio chat) or tying up with technology start-ups from North America to help move into the WebRTC area (Tata).

The big communications API PaaS providers in US/EU have their hands full with the number of validated use cases (customer support, health care, education, unified communications etc.) they need to support, the platform evangelism, plus the key role they play in evolving the standards for WebRTC/ORTC. These providers have everything in place that an app developer in India or elsewhere from the developing world would need. May be we need a few more data centres in India, but apps running on AWS from Singapore are doing just fine.

Miljul or any other WebRTC company in India can evolve into a major WebRTC API PaaS provider serving mostly South East Asian businesses. The market can definitely support both the major global players, and upcoming local players.  As far as we are concerned, we would first like to try out Twilio properly, and figure for ourselves whether there is a need to do something specific for Indian market demands.

What could happen – is that one of the telecom majors in India would tie-up with a Twilio or Tokbox- and offer complete app development environments- APIs, cloud infrastructure, and the telecom backbone. Or they may build the API platform in house, and do it on their own. But we doubt it. Telcos are by nature rent seeking entities, and not setup for building innovative new technologies. They will typically wait for companies to emerge and then back themselves to buy their way through.

Miljul is not thinking of being an API provider at all as of now. But we are part of the ecosystem and very interested in how things are evolving. We hope to do our bit and help people and businesses. The future looks exciting.

Good luck.

Thanks. Once again, a big thank you to all our users! You are making it possible for us to be on this journey.

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WebRTC business models and the Indian market

We decided to give the WebRTC use case series a summer break.

During the past couple of weeks, the Miljul team has been busy with the re-design of the free Web app (big thanks to all the early users who gave us valuable feedback.) In addition, we have been speaking with people from various domains, and especially with individuals who want to either invest in a WebRTC based idea, or want to assess the impact of WebRTC to their specific domains (telecom, customer care, professional services etc.)

The question of customer care powered by WebRTC is fascinating and complex. I will keep a blog post on that topic for the coming weeks. Today, I want to capture our perspective on the business models for WebRTC based companies in the Indian market.

Some of the individuals we have spoken to feel that due to the nature of the app economy, any apps that are available for a global user base are also available for the Indian users and vice-versa. This sounds like a very valid statement on the face of it. Especially for consumer apps. A video call is a video call whether you are an Indian or a Swede. Yes, there are bandwidth differences, but the apps are built to adjust ‘quality of service’ as per available bandwidth.

Coming to WebRTC based apps or those that have a WebRTC service built into the app (online market place for doctors for example), the key is the ‘context’ – how and when does a user need a particular service. This depends on the composite personal and professional habits/business process flows, and to the extent these practices are different from one economy to the other ( examples: Do we manage utility bill payments in the same way in India and US? If I am using a pre-paid mobile connection (Pay-as-you-go), is the re-charge process the same across the world?).

Therefore, it is probably better for an Indian WebRTC consumer services company to decide early on whether their focus is going to be on the Indian market or the global/US market, and build their app/platform for a specific economy or market segment. Extending the scope and reach of the product can come later.

Click on image to enlarge
Click on image to enlarge

The above picture shows the landscape for WebRTC currently in the global market. At a broad level, there are Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) models. Within these, there is further segmentation.

There are firms that provide ‘Developer Tools’ – API platforms and SDKs- for any one to subscribe and build a consumer or enterprise-centric application. For example, if you offer training services, you can simply subscribe to an API provider, and build an online learning solution using live video sessions. The technology and back-end infrastructure will be handled by the API Platform vendor. This model makes a lot of sense of companies who wish to leverage WebRTC, but unsure about their in-house team’s ability to handle the intricacies or simply want to get to the market fast. We have a couple of online learning start-ups that have based their solution around a subscription to an API platform provider. There is no India-based WebRTC API platform provider. 

Similarly, we (in India) do not yet have  companies that are building browser or tool bar plug-ins, or creating integrations for enterprise products such as SAP or Oracle eBusiness Suite. And there are no companies offering telecom or media gateways either, though I suspect some of the Telecom service providers might be working quietly on these offerings.

When we look at the enterprise focused start-ups, again, we do not find Indian companies offering WebRTC-based solutions in the UC (unified communications), messaging, or call centre/CRM areas. It might well be the case that with well-established global companies in these areas, Indian technology entrepreneurs are hesitant to step in.

We at Miljul, feel that US-based startups, however well-funded, will take some time to expand their reach globally. Also, there could be some unique needs in the Indian market that a ‘global app’ may not fulfill effectively.There is plenty of space here for an Indian company to find its feet and grow organically till a point where they are confident of offering an alternative to the existing players. We have examples of Zoho, and Fresh Desk to name just two, that started out as Chennai-based companies before expanding their reach and scope. There is no reason it can’t be repeated in the WebRTC space as well.

Next week, we are targeting a fresh look and design for Miljul, with some additional features. On the blog, we will post our thoughts about the WebRTC consumer app landscape.

WebRTC Use Cases – Health Care

Scenario 1: Have you ever had a situation where in the middle of the night, you or someone at home needed urgent medical consultation? You may have the number of a local doctor, but not sure if it is allowed to call. The only option is to give a home remedy/first aid and if that doesn’t work, rush to an emergency care center.

Source: glogster.com
Source: glogster.com

Scenario 2: Have you ever been frustrated about the process to book an appointment with a doctor, reach the hospital, and wait patiently for your turn, only to have the doctor spend less than five minutes and giving you a list of tests to be completed before she can diagnose your problem?

Have you noticed that we no longer have enough doctors who would do a home visit to do a regular or ad hoc checkup of a senior citizen or a child?

These are common scenarios and though we have been hearing about tele-medicine for a while now (almost two decades), it has not really picked up adoption – the primary reason being the affordability. The hardware and software requirements to enable remote video based consulting have been acting as adoption barriers. Also, regulations relating to patient privacy such as HIPAA (most countries have similar laws in place) mandate that any entities (health care providers, insurance companies etc.) involved in managing the patient data should implement certain additional security and audit controls, as part of the tech-enabled service delivery.

As explained in the previous posts, WebRTC is a game changer in these scenarios. All one needs is internet connectivity, a web cam, and a supported browser (Chrome, Firefox and Opera offer native support to WebRTC as of now).

Especially in the US market, each month, we see the roll-out of a new WebRTC based tele-health solution in the market. The business models may be different, but the services being offered can be listed as below:

  • Emergency care – where one can quickly contact an available specialist, and get an initial assessment, advice on first aid, and guidance on the next steps.
  • Follow-up consultations after a procedure/surgery or periodic consultations for lifestyle conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
  • Ad-hoc queries like getting doubts clarified on a prescription

Tele-health startups in the US are either establishing themselves as market places for individuals to find and connect with doctors or providing the technology to doctors, multi-speciality clinics and hospitals – enabling them to offer live video consultation to their patients.

The scenarios for WebRTC usage in health care are not limited to the above though. WebRTC is perfect for integration with medical devices,  M2M (machine to machine) communication, and enabling multiple specialists to communicate among each other in real time to help with a medical situation.

  • By using WebRTC with connected medical and diagnostic devices, health care professionals can remotely monitor patients and collect data on vital signs.Source: galleryhip.com
  • Medical images (X-Rays, CT-Scans, ECGs etc.) can be reviewed remotely by radiologists and shared with experts in other locations for an opinion. Yes, in real time !
  • Provide improved access to specialists in remote areas or for rare health conditions.
  • WebRTC also includes an API for RTC Data Channel. This would allow supported devices to exchange data (including health data) and thus make it possible for an electronic medical/health record (EMR/EHR) to get updated instantly and also be shared across the world with an expert.
  • When a patient is in ICU and would benefit from a quick talk with a friend or  family member before or post surgery, WebRTC would enable the conversation without having to violate the hospital’s protocol about ICU and visitors.

What is the state of WebRTC adoption for health care in India?

In India, we are just beginning to see some activity in this space. There are market places that allow you to book an appointment with a doctor, with just a few clicks. But people have been using Just Dial or any local yellow pages to find doctors and then its a question of calling the doctor’s clinic and booking an appointment. The market places offer additional value in terms of user reviews, satisfaction ratings, and a brief bio of the doctor. There are probably just a couple of eHealth startups in India that are bringing the magic of WebRTC to the ‘find a doctor’ service.

Recently, I took part in a survey conducted by Bain & Company to assess the market for eHealth consultation services. I am guessing that one of the largest corporate hospital chains in India has commissioned the survey. And so, it is a matter of time before corporate hospitals start offering live video consultation services to patients (current and potential). Obviously, they will not build the technology themselves, and would license it from one of the WebRTC solution providers. Indian WebRTC companies (the handful that have entered the market recently, like Miljul) will do well to focus on this niche and offer a platform to the health care providers (corporate, government, charity-run hospital chains, multi-speciality nursing homes etc.) that can be scaled up quickly.

Apart from the cost efficiency and ease of use, two factors appeal to us at Miljul about health care with WebRTC. Firstly, even in developing countries like India, the need for health care at home is exploding, mainly for senior citizens. Trained para medical workforce is always going to be in short supply. Care providers are going to depend on technology for data capture, analysis, and patient consultation. It makes sense to use WebRTC and provide adult primary care remotely. Only when a visit to a hospital becomes a MUST, should we have our parents and grand parents take the trouble to go there and wait for the appointment.

http://www.acpinternist.org/archives/2008/04/one.htm
Image credit: acpinternist.org

Secondly, it is not practical to expect super specialists to be available in all remote areas of our country or even within the country for rare diseases. Using WebRTC, we can make this niche expertise available to any one who needs it, at any time, and from any where.

At Miljul, we are excited about these opportunities. Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.

WebRTC Use Cases – Journalism

At the outset, it might appear that journalists already have all the tools they need to post a story with their newspaper/TV channel/web site, instantly from wherever they are. And there are Outdoor Broadcasting (OB) vans that can do a live stream of a breaking story directly to the TV channel’s office via satellite link.

The mobile revolution and apps such as Twitter have democratized the power of media to some extent, with citizen journalism playing a key role in events like the Arab Spring for example.

Image courtesy:Doha Centre for Media Freedom
Image courtesy:Doha Centre for Media Freedom

So, what can WebRTC  offer in this field? The answer lies in the speed and economics of content production and delivery for media companies, especially TV channels.

Let us take the OB van scenario first.

Most TV channels buy a few OB vans, and rent the remaining. Average cost (rental+service) for an OB van comes to around Rs. 50 lakh (Rs. 5 million) per year. Needless to say, smaller TV studios can at best have 3 or 4 OB vans. In addition to OB vans, TV studios also use 3G connectivity to stream visuals to the studio. A single 3G connection will not suffice and hence they use custom-bundled 3G connections to get faster speeds. However, it still would not go beyond 1 Mbps speed. So, broadcasters are eagerly waiting for 4G LTE connections to be rolled out across the country. But, it may be quite a while till 4G is available in every nook and corner of the country.

v-interview

Using WebRTC, one can deliver high quality audio/video streams on 3G connections in a two-way transmission (as against the one-way streaming used today along with a cell phone for voice communication). The crew can use a single or bundled 3G connection, and use a service like Miljul to stream content directly to the TV studio’s media server, and hold a conversation with the online editor or anchor . And the crew can be in remote places where OB vans can’t go. When 4G gets rolled out, the audio/video quality will be even better, close to HD. Imagine not having any dependency on OB vans ! It is possible for a studio to quickly ramp-up the number of correspondents/stringers covering a particular breaking story, and deliver real time news, at a fraction of the cost of OB vans. At Miljul, we expect the TV industry globally to adopt WebRTC over 3G/4G, and thereby reduce the cost of running a news network significantly. Citizen journalists can use WebRTC services and stream in real time to up to eight TV studios simultaneously.  Who knows, this might even result in syndicated groups of journalists working for themselves, without being on the payroll of any media house.

The other use case relates to panel discussions. Today, the panelists have to visit the studio or the studio has to send a small crew to the panelists’ locations. It is not uncommon to see the connection for a panelist breakdown during the live show. WebRTC based services solve the issue very neatly. The studio needs to ensure that the panelist is in front of a browser and a webcam – could be a PC/laptop or tablet/smartphone. The moderator opens the room and one by one the panelists join the discussion, just as they would join a normal video conference on Miljul. I have not calculated the cost savings and efficiency gain (speedier time to being live actually) in detail, but pretty sure that these are significant enough to warrant full scale adoption.

Real time or recorded video interviews of subject matter experts is another possibility. Video interviews via Skype or similar tools are common on many news and analysis web sites, both general and domain specific. If I am running such a site, and I want to post interviews with experts frequently, I can simply do a Miljul with the experts at their individual locations and post the recording for users. It will save me time, money, and importantly, will make it very convenient for the panelists. One of the predictions in an internal Miljul discussion about this is that in future, we would probably see a completely mobile app based news analysis portal (Mobile Only, no web site), with multiple discussion threads, each having a series of recorded video discussions and a few live discussions as well.

The potential to do file transfer during a WebRTC session creates some additional possibilities for journalism, especially for investigative journalists. I will not go into the detail here though 🙂

In other news, Team Miljul has a new member. We now have Gaurav on board, with all his Node.js skills. If you are wondering what is Node.js,  it is a cross-platform, open source, run time environment for server-side and networking applications . People are doing some cool stuff with it for some time now. But the best is about to come. For some one like me who always thought of JavaScript as a simple front end skill, it has been a real eye-opener to discover the potential of Node.js.

WebRTC Use Cases – eGovernance

Welcome back to Wednesdays  with WebRTC 🙂

Last week I touched upon the potential for delivering in person learning via live video through WebRTC. In fact, we at Miljul are currently in the design phase for a platform that would allow teachers and students to connect via Miljul for online classes. More about that in the coming weeks.

Today, I want to discuss a bit on the opportunities to improve e-Governance using WebRTC. But before doing that, I want to clarify that when I use the term WebRTC, it is not just about live audio/video streaming. WebRTC is much more than video (though at present, service providers are focusing primarily on video).

Major components of WebRTC:

  • getUserMedia – helps the browser access your camera and microphone, and capture (record) the media.
  • RTCPeerConnection – helps setup audio/video calls
  • RTCDataChannel – data sharing between the browsers via peer to peer connection

So, how does all this help e-Governance? Can we improve the delivery of public services by government agencies? A responsive, transparent, cost effective and efficient way of handling the Government’s work would help us all, the tax payers and the consumers of government services, and the government employees as well.

NaMo-egovernance

Imagine  an app that lets you ‘connect’ instantly or schedule a call with the relevant employee of a specific government department. Using the Right to Information (RTI), we should be able to request the employee to share her screen and show us the data. Or, let us say you are following up about the status of an application. The application has been approved after the final discussion between the applicant (you) and the government employee, in a video call via Miljul (I mean, a WebRTC application 🙂 ). The employee can simply do a file transfer to you online, and you can store the file in your own digital locker.

WebRTC can also be used for anonymous voice calls or receive anonymous video feed. A whistle blower can tip off the government about a possible scam via anonymous voice call or send a link to the live or recorded video stream (also anonymously).

As we all know, the Government is the largest employer in most countries. Especially in a country like India, the multi-layered complexity of the bureaucracy, not to speak of turf wars over jurisdictions, creates a certain level of inefficiency in the way this behemoth goes about its job. I am sure the civil servants in the field across the country and in the regional and national level offices, often find themselves having to deal with colleagues via phone or email or snail mail. I heard that ‘WhatsApp’ has become a favourite among many bureaucrats as a way to keep in touch with their dispersed teams. Think of the benefit a live video chat application, as part of a unified communications stack, would give to these harried officials.

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Picture courtesy: The Hindu

 

A clerk in the sub-registrar’s office of a small town can now be directly contacted by a section officer in the Land Records Commissioner’s office. A District Collector can have a daily stand-up meeting with her sub-ordinates heading various district level departments (District SP, District Educational Officer, Civil Supplies Officer etc.).

There is a common scene in the corridors of power, i.e, the secretariat of a State Government or the various ‘Bhavans’ housing the staff of union ministries in New Delhi. Whenever there is a video conference with the big man or woman heading the ministry or that department, one can see the IAS officers, section officers, and junior ministers walking to the one or two video conference rooms in that building. Using a WebRTC based solution will allow them the luxury of attending these video calls right from their office or even from home. The infrastructure required (hardware, software, services and support) is substantial and that is why, even in top global companies, you find limited number of tele presence rooms. Many MNCs are using Microsoft Lync now with video. Or the old favourite, Cisco WebEx. Small and medium companies can’t afford the costs. The Government can afford the costs, but it needs the facility to be available to a majority of employees for it to be truly effective. This is where WebRTC steps in. It is very low cost to deploy and maintain, is scalable, can have redundancy built in to ensure 100% up time, customizable, and highly secure (wire-tap proof).

At Miljul, we are quite optimistic that within the next 1-2 years, governments and enterprises will start adopting solutions based on WebRTC for customer care, and internal collaboration. We hope the government departments and agencies in India go for WebRTC implementation along with the Digilocker initiative.

Please post your thoughts and questions. We are looking for inputs and ideas from all of you. Thanks.

WebRTC Use Cases 001- Education

Miljul (www.miljul.in) launched the beta release on Thursday, March 12. It has been almost a week (500+ video calls so far) and we received some positive feedback as well as suggestions for improvement. Thanks a lot and keep the feedback coming !

A few well-wishers asked us about  our passion for WebRTC and Internet of Things (IoT), and why we are betting on the transformative potential of WebRTC in various verticals. This is the first post in what would hopefully become a series of posts, with users contributing ideas and asking questions below the line.

Let us get started then . I quote a Telecom industry web site (www.lightreading.com) on the definition of WebRTC: “WebRTC is an open-source project started by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that enables developers to embed peer-to-peer real-time communications capabilities into supported web browsers. The standard, though not finalized yet, uses a JavaScript application program interface (API), which means that anyone can launch a voice and video-calling feature that works on the desktop and mobile web. Many pundits have called it the biggest innovation in communications since VoIP.”

Around 50+ use cases have been identified, being piloted or even being delivered commercially to consumers and enterprises using WebRTC. The most obvious use case is what Miljul has started with – video calls for small groups of people ( with chat and screen sharing as added features).

What comes to mind immediately is the potential here for online, real time learning. Imagine a scenario where a parent wants high quality home tuitions (or ‘after school learning’ to use the industry term) but the preferred teacher is unable to travel all the way to the student’s home. Using Miljul, the teacher can explain the concepts via video call and do screen sharing to enhance the learning. We can add a white board and a file transfer feature to the tool, and even a payment gateway service. Imagine then a market place where one can search and find the right kind of teacher. And this need not be limited to school and college syllabus. It could work well for technical trainings, cookery and yoga classes, and what I personally love to see – learning music online.

Online Teaching

Today, looking at the Indian market, we do have a few websites that offer a market place for teachers. Some of them offer an online learning option. However, it requires expensive infrastructure for the company delivering the service, and also installing a software on the student’s and teacher’s PCs. We are just beginning to see people trying out WebRTC in the education sphere. We at Miljul do believe there is a huge potential to take specialized coaching, technical training to remote areas. We are at the beginning of our journey, but the tools are all in place to build an online education center that would deliver ‘access to high quality learning’ at the finger tips of consumers. The rider is the availability of bandwidth in rural areas. And every day, we hear of improvement in the bandwidth availability across the country, even in the remotest areas. For WebRTC to work well, it would require a minimum of 256-512 Kbps connectivity, and surely, it is easier for the public and private sectors to invest in the infrastructure, than expecting live video streaming at less than 128 Kbps?

So, it is only a matter of time, maybe 2-3 years from now, when a woman in Bangalore can teach creative writing to someone from Jhumritalaiya. Or a Sanskrit pandit from a village near Shimoga can explain the intricacies of Krishna Yajurveda to an NRI from Boston. In real time. Within a context (domain-specific tools). And at no extra cost than what you pay for internet connectivity.

Please respond with your questions or comments. In each post under this series, we will discuss a specific use case for WebRTC.

Meanwhile, don’t put off talking to that friend face to face. Enough of pinging on FB or WhatsApp. Get into Miljul, do a video call and talk about ‘those were the best days of our lives’.

We are live ! Do a Miljul now !

Kudos to the team. https://www.miljul.in is live now !

The Miljul team hereby thanks all our families, friends, and those who helped us reach this first milestone. Please start using miljul when you feel like talking to someone face to face.

We have a backlog of features that we are working on, and will be hugely thankful for the user feedback.

More tomorrow. Good day every one !

Meanwhile, here’s Paul McCartney on Going Live !