Imagine never having to hit your browser refresh button again. Imagine that the whole Internet continuously live streams itself, even if you keep a single Web page open for hours — or if you access a site from your mobile phone.Imagine being an enterprise that builds a website that updates worldwide in a millisecond and then reports back to you in realtime what people are doing on your site.
That’s the goal of Brazilian company Realtime, which launched in the U.S. today with $100 million investment from BRZTech Holding, a three-month old São Paulo-based venture fund.
The goal isn’t just to bring Realtime’s products to the U.S., but to fundamentally change the way the Internet is delivered, the company says.
This isn’t a really new idea. The concept of “push” technology grew up in the 1990s with the Web and is the basis of a lot of services, like instant messaging. (Remember PointCast Network which pushed stock info and was embedded into Internet Explorer and Netscape? It was eventually killed off by RSS feeds.)
But Realtime already has a couple of offerings that are different from that old tech and have been widely adopted worldwide. The company claims it has 2,000 global customers and already delivers “an average of 500,000 messages per second, with a worldwide footprint that surpasses 80 million user-connections every 24 hours.”
Realtime does this through a cloud for hosting realtime apps known as Open Realtime Connectivity and it offers a freemium product for building apps using a language it calls xRTML (or extensive Realtime multiplatform language). xRTML can convert an existing static web page into a Realtime “live Web” delivery page.
It is opening offices today in New York and Santa Monica, Calif.
We asked CEO and founder André Parreira a few questions about the company’s technology and how it differs from other ways to create live apps on the Web.
Do you have any U.S. companies using the technology yet and what are they doing with it?
Realtime is in the early stages in terms of relationships with clients, who are advertisers, e-commerce sites and publishers. Right now, this is still a proof-of-concept stage with clients.
Clients are incorporating xRTML on their site to see the power of real-time and testing the real-time analytics to determine the business intelligence that they can get from it.
Clients are seeing real-time in action: how many people are looking at their home page and ads — and they’re making valuations on time exposure.
How is this different from other methods to build streaming apps on the Web, like Flash or Silverlight?
Realtime is not an app.
Realtime allows developers, companies, etc. to have a single focal point of information (think of a message bus) where you can have different systems communicating with each other (a desktop app, a mobile app, a web app). You suddenly have the ability to have information flowing to and from different systems while allowing you to actually PUSH that content to a web user, without the need of plugins or anything else installed on your browser or computer.
While it CAN work with Flash and Silverlight (we provide APIs for these two platforms), it’s not really comparable. You can make your Flash game and use Realtime for all the multiplayer communication, for example. You could even do a multi-platform multiplayer game by having the browser (Flash) version, a mobile version and a desktop version, all communicating between each other (through one-to-many and many-to-many communication).
Realtime is a way for applications and users to communicate between several platforms and using a plethora of protocols (it uses the best possible – WebSockets for browser, for example), not to author content or applications (like Flash and Silverlight is).