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  • By Mia Adjei
    Add a Raise Hand Feature to Your Video Application Add a Raise Hand Feature to Your Video Application

    If you have participated in a video chat before, it's likely that you have seen or heard of the raise hand feature. This feature allows participants to raise their hand during the call to let the host know that they need something or would like to come off mute and speak aloud. Wouldn't it be cool if your video application had this feature as well?

    In this tutorial, you will learn how to add a raise hand feature to a Twilio Video application using the DataTrack API, which allows participants to send low-latency messages to the other people on the call. With the click of a button, you will be able to raise or lower your hand, and this raised hand will show in the UI.

    Let's get started!

    Prerequisites

    • A free Twilio account. (If you register here, you'll receive $10 in Twilio credit when you upgrade to …
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  • By Miguel Grinberg
    How to Play Video Files in a Twilio Video Call How to Play Video Files in a Twilio Video Call

    A common need in video calling applications is to allow a user to play a media file for the other participants in the call. This can enable, for example, a teacher or doctor to share a recording with the call attendees.

    In this article I will show you how a participant in a Twilio Video call can share video and audio content in formats such as mp4 or webm.

    The MediaStream API

    The JavaScript version of the Twilio Video SDK uses existing APIs in the browser to obtain access to the camera and microphone. More specifically, it uses the MediaDevices.getUserMedia() function to access MediaStream objects for these devices, which expose the raw video and audio tracks that are then published to the video call.

    But the MediaStream APIs cover much more than webcams and microphones and can be used to obtain MediaStream objects from other sources. For example, the …

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  • By Mia Adjei
    Host Video Office Hours with SMS Notifications using Python and Twilio Host Video Office Hours with SMS Notifications using Python and Twilio

    When you think of "office hours", what comes to mind? Perhaps you imagine a professor who has set aside time for students to stop by their office to ask for advice or receive guidance. Or maybe you imagine a business leader who creates space on their calendar for colleagues and direct reports to ask questions or share their ideas.

    With the rise of virtual and hybrid environments, many people have taken their office hours online, and video chat provides a great way to have face-to-face conversations without needing to be in the same physical location.

    In this tutorial, you will learn how to build a virtual office hours application that allows you to create a new, named video room with a customized timeout window and receive an SMS notification when a participant joins the room. For this project, you will use Python and Flask, along with a bit of …

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  • By Nathalia Velez Ryan
    Video Call Integration on Different Platforms video call integration.png

    You probably don’t need us to tell you how prevalent video calls have become. After all, you’ve likely relied on this communication channel recently, whether it’s for a work meeting or a personal matter.

    Video was already on the rise before the pandemic: between 2017 and 2019, video communication usage increased by 48%. But in the first 2 months of the pandemic, the video conferencing market increased by 500%. After this widespread adoption, many industries realized how useful video really is, and it’s here to stay.

    While some of us started to dread video calls at the height of the pandemic, we can’t deny the benefits across industries. Businesses now use video for all types of communications, including sales calls, healthcare consultations, education, recruiting and hiring, and live-event streaming—and it’s clear why.

    Third-party video conference platforms are handy for remote work and internal communications. But when it comes …

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  • By Sean Coleman
    Video Insights is Now Generally Available video-insights-ga-header-blog

    We are excited to announce that Video Insights is now generally available!

    Visibility into the usage, quality, and performance of your video calls is crucial to building great customer experiences. Variables such as the network, software, and device conditions of your end-users can have a major impact on the quality of experience, and configuring your application to perform well under the wide range of conditions is no easy task. In some cases, the issues will be on the end-users side and you will need to help them help themselves. And in other cases, you will need to make changes or optimizations to your application. Regardless of where the issue lies, your team needs the data and tooling readily available to troubleshoot issues, discover trends, and measure the success of optimizations.

    We only succeed when our customers succeed, and because of this, Video Insights comes out-of-the-box, at no additional cost for …

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  • By Miguel Grinberg
    How to Play Audio Files in a Twilio Video Call How to Play Audio Files in a Twilio Video Call

    A common need in video calling applications is to allow a user to play an audio file for the other participants. This could be used to add background music to a call, to share a recorded conversation, or just to make calls more fun with sound effects or a rickroll.

    In this short tutorial you will learn how a participant in a Twilio Video call can publish a secondary audio track and play back an audio file on it.

    Brief introduction to the MediaStream API

    The JavaScript Twilio Video library uses existing APIs in the browser to obtain access to the camera and microphone. More specifically, it uses the MediaDevices.getUserMedia() function to access MediaStream objects for these devices, which expose the raw video and audio tracks that are then published to the video call.

    Interestingly, there are other ways to obtain MediaStream objects, beyond the camera and the microphone. …

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  • By Miguel Grinberg
    Build a Serverless Video Chat Application with JavaScript and Twilio Programmable Video Build a Serverless Video Chat Application with JavaScript and Twilio

    In this article you are going to learn how to build a basic video conferencing solution using Twilio Video. The system is going to run on desktop and mobile web browsers, so participants will not need to download or install any software on their computers to join a call.

    The application will be coded in JavaScript, with some HTML and CSS. It will be deployed to the Twilio Serverless platform, so that you can use it to connect with family, friends or colleagues anywhere in the world without having to worry about complicated hosting solutions.

    Do you want to see what you’ll build before you start? Here is a screenshot.

    Project screenshot

    By following this article, you can learn how to create this project in small incremental steps. If you prefer to download the complete project instead of building it step-by-step, you can find the code in this GitHub repository: https://github.com/miguelgrinberg/twilio-serverless-video …

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  • By Mia Adjei
    How to Remove a Participant From a Twilio Video Call How to Remove a Participant From a Twilio Video Call

    With so much of today's communication happening over video chat, people hosting meetings want to have some level of control over who is attending that meeting. For example, if a participant is being disruptive, the host will want a way to remove that person from the call.

    Thankfully, Twilio Video provides an easy way to remove a participant with a single API call. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add a host panel to a video chat application that will display participants' names and allow you to remove them from the call at the click of a button.

    While this tutorial will not go into user roles and management, it may be helpful to keep these in mind, as you will likely want a way to distinguish between users who should have permissions to manage other users and users who should not be granted those privileges.

    Let's get …

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  • By Karen Chou
    Building a Next-Generation Virtual Care Platform: A Step-By-Step Guide HLS Virtual Care White Paper thumbnail_v2.png

    Click here to read the white paper for a more detailed treatment of the technologies mentioned in this post, along with a comprehensive listing of resources to help you get started.

    With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting in-person interaction, healthcare providers turned to makeshift solutions to facilitate telehealth patient visits. During Q1 2020, the number of telehealth visits increased by 50% compared to the previous quarter. That number continues to rise.

    Yet, the patients’ and providers’ experience with many telehealth platforms has been less than ideal. Additionally, general-purpose, video-conferencing solutions—not built specifically for use in virtual care or integration into healthcare workflows—are insufficient.

    Virtual care, however, is here to stay. This is why it is critical for providers to have in place a solid digital engagement platform to keep up with patient demand and maintain loyalty.

    Why is building your own telehealth platform important?

    As the global telemedicine market will …

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  • By Miguel Grinberg
    Add the Twilio Room Monitor Applet to your Video Application Add the Twilio Room Monitor Applet to your Video Application

    If you played with the official video calling application from Twilio, you may have noticed the Room Monitor option in the menu, which opens a popup with lots of useful information about the video room and participants, all generated in real time.

    Twilio Video Calling application

    Did you know that the Twilio Video Room Monitor used here is a standalone open source project that you can embed in any web-based Twilio Video application?

    Keep on reading if you want to learn how to take advantage of this awesome tool in your own application!

    What is the Twilio Video Room Monitor?

    The Twilio Video Room Monitor is an open source debugging tool for the browser that displays real time information and metrics for a Twilio Video room and its participants. It is designed to be embedded into any JavaScript project built with the twilio-video.js library.

    Twilio Video Room Monitor

    In addition to a very detailed view into an active …

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