Agora.io, which specializes in global, internet-based, real-time communications packages, said Aug. 19 that it has partnered with language-learning provider Lingoland for a new immersion program in language learning.
Agora.io enables developers to add high-definition voice and video calls into mobile and web apps through a simple but powerful software development kit (SDK).
Agora Voice, the company's real-time audio solution, is the engine behind Lingoland, a C mobile app in which students can role-play with live English tutors in realistic 3D scenes, such as San Francisco and New York City.
Agora.io's global real-time communications infrastructure for voice and video chat can be embedded in websites or smartphone apps and can run on most devices. This is possible without any plug-ins or special equipment and, crucially, the infrastructure claims to deliver reliable connectivity even in the face of poor bandwidth, variable cellular connections and internet traffic jams that quietly degrade video connections.
Combines Proprietary Audio, Video IP
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's platform works by combining proprietary audio and video transmission technology for quality assurance with the latest real-time communications standards. Users do not need to invest in any hardware to use the platform because it is eliminated by Agora.io's use of the WebRTC standard for streaming video.
This is a technology pioneered by Google that enables real-time video functionality to be embedded easily and work automatically on any device with a modern web browser on smartphones, tablets and personal computers.
Agora.io serves a range of industries that need reliable real-time communications, including telemedicine, retail, gaming, human resources and education, among others. But where the technology might be most useful is with telemedicine—specifically, rural telemedicine.
Agora.io is important to Lingoland's business because it provides excellent connectivity across the Pacific Ocean, Lingoland CEO Tony Diepenbrock said.
Classes Do Not Work if Connections Drop
"We will not succeed if the connections between our students and tutors drop," Diepenbrock said. "Getting WebRTC to work across the globe with low latency is very challenging, and given that our students are in China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, Agora was the clear choice.
"Our students frequently comment on the quality of our tutors' voices in Lingoland, and they are surprised when they realize their tutor is more than 11,000 kilometers away."
Digital English language learning reached revenues of $2.8 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow to $3.8 billion by 2020. In 2015, China was the top buying country in the Asia Pacific region, followed by South Korea and Japan—countries where Lingoland has already established a user base.
Lingoland is based in San Francisco. Go here for more information.