Let us begin with a hypothetical scenario of 10 colleagues having a meeting via a video conference. In a regular video conference call, unless you look very closely, it can get difficult to spot the speaker. This might be chaotic and also, makes it difficult to have an organised meeting. How about we tell you that there is a feature available that maintains the flow of the conversation by giving prominence to the person talking on the screen? We call it, the Active Talker.
Active Talker automatically sends the video streams of the most recent speakers to the display window. This feature also comes with the flexibility to configure up to six windows of different sizes thereby allowing it to dynamically display the six most recent speakers at any given time. Apart from the obvious benefit of recognising the lead talker(s), having the ability to see the speakers further enables the participants to pick up non-verbal signs of the speaker like expressions, body language etc. This helps in a better understanding of the subject matter and the tonality of the speaker.
Let us look at the Active Talker API in detail below-
Customisable Layout– Your current UCaaS video conferencing product might have this feature but it might not offer you the customisable layout that EnableX does. With the programmable API, Video and screen sharing layout can be customisable to meet your applications or websites requirements. No longer are your hands tight with restricted layouts. With EnableX API, you have the freedom to decide the number of video streams, video window size, placements and much more
Auto Mode– The prime requirement of an effective video conferencing tool are to provide the best quality video at the lowest possible bandwidth. EnableX’s Active Talker platform allows you to monitor the end user bandwidth and subscribe to only those many number of streams as the client’s bandwidth allows.
Our platform continuously monitors the end user and on sensing a drop in bandwidth, it automatically reduces the number of video streams sent to the participants. In the auto-bandwidth mode, it can even switch the participant to an audio-only mode if the bandwidth availability drops significantly. Auto Mode feature can be turned off at any time, if a fixed number of video streams is required.
Cost savings– Let us understand this with an example-
Suppose there are 16 participants in a call and each video has a bandwidth of 1.2 Mbps. Now if every participant’s video is sent to each participant, each end user will need to have 15*1.2 Mbps= 18 Mbps of bandwidth. However, if we tweak this smartly and program it such that it streams only 6 active talkers to the end user, s/he shall need only 6 Mbps (5*1.2Mbps) of bandwidth. This saves the cost for the service provider as the bandwidth requirement goes down and so does the data consumption.
Now, one step further and practically speaking, the video quality for the currently active and the other recent speakers need not be the same. If the active speaker is streaming at 720p, the rest of the 5 speakers could be streaming at 240p. Thus, the bandwidth requirement becomes 1.2 Mbps*1+ 0.35 Mbps*5= 2.95 Mbps. This efficiency in bandwidth consumption is brought in by the EnableX simulcast server and in the case in point, it has helped reduce the bandwidth consumption from 18 Mbps to 2.95 Mbps which is an approximate reduction of ~83%.
Hence, by using Active Talker’s flexible layout and intelligent bandwidth management you can ensure that the platform users get the most optimal audio/video experience and at the same time avoid any unnecessary bandwidth consumption. And all this, with a decent amount of cost saving.
Use Cases for Active Talker
Active Talker API can be very useful in the below scenarios:
- In an online training session, wherein the trainer is the one mostly speaking and highlighted on the screen. Also, if a student wants to ask a query or engage with the trainer, Active Talker platform ensures a better student-teacher experience via the juggling of speakers on the screen.
- In a Webinar or an online event that comprises of various panel discussions and speakers. By shifting the focus to only the one speaker who is talking, it ensures that a remote user can clearly watch the speakers one at a time.
- In a multi-party video call wherein, multiple participants are expected to speak. Active Talker is the most relevant when the end users need to differentiate the active speaker from the rest of the participants and a multi-party call is an ideal example of this.
EnableX’s Active Talker API provides the developers with an expanse of capabilities that can be embedded in the existing applications while also enabling them to customise the offerings. We are dedicated to building cost-effective and platform-independent solutions and. To find out how CPaaS can help you innovate customer experience, contact us now.