Authored by Ludovic François, CEO & CTO of TrackIt. The content and opinions in this post are those of the third-party author and AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post.

 

 

The use of live video is becoming a standard mode of engagement for modern enterprises. It provides immediate and effective information delivery to customers who are now used to virtual communications. While they don’t replace face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings are sure to become a more prevalent means of doing business. New tools, such as Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS), a managed live streaming solution, help personalize these interactions. They also help maintain a sense of “being there” for both the provider and the consumer of video streams.

This article illustrates several typical use cases for Amazon IVS that TrackIt, an Amazon Advanced Consulting Partner focused on media workflows, has helped clients implement as part of their automated workflows. TrackIt’s media expertise and portfolio includes AWS Media Services, AWS AI and ML tools, and the Amazon Chime SDK, providing a full end-to-end architecture, development, and delivery capability for any media workflow.

TrackIt recently helped Studio 4D, an architectural firm with offices in Washington DC and Uruguay, implement an Amazon IVS workflow that allows the company to broadcast live interactive streams of its 3D environments to large audiences. Read the case study here to find out more.

This article explores a few major use cases of Amazon IVS:

  • Large events or conferences
  • Panel of presenters/speakers
  • Live interactive sessions for education and learning, classrooms, boardroom, and company meetings
  • Watch parties

Large events or conferences

Amazon IVS works well for the live streaming of large events or conferences with audiences who will engage and participate during presentations. Amazon IVS provides PutMetaData APIs that allow customers to build interactive elements during keynote presentations using personalized elements such as emoji reactions, polls, and quizzes that provide real-time feedback to the presenters and coordinators of the session.

TrackIt developed a pipeline that provided the “glue” to marry the 3D visualization tool set (Unreal Engine) to Amazon IVS service providing a high quality and seamless user viewing experience.

The following screenshot illustrates the usage of Amazon IVS for a live conference where viewers have access to low-latency live video feeds of the conference from different camera angles. Watch the demo of this feature here – https://amazon-ivs-multiple-players-demo.glitch.me/

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Panel of presenters or speakers

The ability to augment Zoom or Amazon Chime with Amazon IVS streaming allows a panel of presenters or speakers to be broadcast to a larger audience.

The use of Amazon IVS provides a significant advantage for panel broadcasting. Most WebRTC-native platforms (such as Zoom and Amazon Chime) have a limitation in terms of the size of audiences they can effectively stream to before video performance starts to degrade. Using Amazon IVS, a panel of presenters has the potential to reach thousands of viewers or more.

WebRTC is an open framework for the web that enables real-time communication (RTC) capabilities in a browser. It is a collection of standards, protocols, and Javascript APIs, the combination of which enables peer-to-peer audio, video, and data sharing between browsers and devices. Simply put, WebRTC allows for audio and video communication to work inside webpages. Despite its numerous advantages (free, open-source, vibrant and dynamic ecosystem to help build products, constantly evolving and improving), WebRTC also comes with its fair share of issues, namely its ownership complexity, asynchronous and client-heavy nature, and its frequent network address translation (NAT) traversal issues. To help address some of the issues in using a native WebRTC implementation, AWS has a managed service called Amazon Chime SDK that simplifies and accelerates WebRTC implementations.

Amazon IVS is also a fit for virtual demonstrations. From presentation decks to 3D virtual events and Virtual Reality, the use of Amazon IVS allows presenters to provide large audiences with real-time interactive streaming experiences.

When using Zoom, for example, pointing its RTMP-capable output to an Amazon IVS RTMP ingest point provides unlimited stream scalability.  Here is a Zoom tutorial on outputting RTMP:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115001777826-Live-Streaming-Meetings-or-Webinars-Using-a-Custom-Service

For Amazon Chime, this configuration can be used: https://github.com/aws-samples/amazon-chime-meeting-broadcast-demo

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Live interactive sessions for education and learning, classrooms, boardroom, and company meetings

Online education and e-learning are verticals where Amazon IVS is particularly useful. It enables teachers, speakers, and presenters to enhance and enrich live educational experiences by adding interactivity to audio and video streams.

Using Amazon IVS, presenters are able to keep audiences engaged using interactive elements such as whiteboards, quizzes, polls, and Q&As. These provide a more comprehensive educational and learning experience.

One of TrackIt’s clients, a private school specializing in teaching modern software development, needed a solution for its remote student population. Standard commercial solutions didn’t offer the interactivity and content delivery required, so they turned to TrackIt to help develop a fully customized solution based on Amazon Chime SDK. Standard video conferencing solutions didn’t provide the high-resolution quality required by students to be able to view small, text-based (in this case computer code) computer windows. The combination of Amazon Chime SDK and Amazon IVS provided the ability to stream high-quality video with the clear display needed to read the small text.

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Watch parties

Amazon IVS can be used to live stream a high-quality video, and Amazon Chime or Zoom can be used in tandem to allow people to join a call and interact with each other.

Here are some use cases:

  • A watch party for a small group
  • Online social activities
  • Company all-hands meetings with presentation panels
  • Breakout sessions during live events and conferences

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A versatile solution for creating interactive live video experiences

With live video becoming the norm for modern enterprises, solutions like Amazon IVS enable companies to quickly and easily set up interactive live video experiences are proving to be of immense value. The use cases presented in this article illustrate the versatility of Amazon IVS and shed light on the multiple ways in which companies can benefit from this live streaming solution to create engaging and interactive video experiences.

Enterprises looking for assistance in implementing Amazon IVS can contact AWS Advanced Consulting Partner TrackIt.

 

 

Ludovic François founded TrackIt, a full-service cloud engineering and consulting company in 2014 and serves as its CEO & CTO. Ludovic François has over 17 years of experience with start-up, cloud, storage and M&E businesses. Prior to founding TrackIt, Ludovic has held numerous roles at Thales Airborne Systems, DataDirect Networks and Nexsan. Ludovic is passionate about system administration, automation, education and sailing.