Real-Time Engagement (RTE) Technology and its Impact on the Software Development Industry

Janifha Evangeline

In an interaction with CIOTechOutlook, Ranga Jagannath, Senior Director, Agora shares his views on how real-time engagement technology impacts the software development industry, the trends that are shaping the future of software development post-pandemic era, and where real-time engagement fit in, and more.

With an MBA degree from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Ranga Jagannath contributes over 25 years of profound industry knowledge, with a strong focus on Sales and Business Leadership. His primary role centers on enhancing market presence and nurturing substantial growth within the region's partner and customer networks.

How does real-time engagement (RTE) technology impact the software development industry?

In an era of heightened digital demand, real time engagement (RTE) has become integral in business and customer communication. There are three factors that make RTE:

Shared Context: To have a truly engaging experience requires shared context. The ability to share the same space, hear the same sounds, see the same sights—these are the details that build bonds and foster connections.

Interactivity at any Scale: This is the concept of supporting a wide range of engagement, from one-on-one and small group chats to events that engage hundreds of thousands or millions of people at the same time.

Ubiquity: The last part of the RTE equation is ubiquity which focuses on allowing everyone to interact with anyone, in any app, anytime and anywhere.

Together, these three pillars set the stage for creating software applications, where human interactions can mingle with digital environments, chats can be intimate or scale to millions of people and everyone has access from every device, anywhere around the globe. The need for RTE has especially risen in the past year with businesses across all sectors increasingly relying on voice and video technology more than ever before.

What trends are shaping the future of software development post-pandemic era, and where does real-time engagement fit in?

The continuous advancement of software development processes and tools is making technology more accessible and user-friendly for everyone. Simultaneously, programming languages are evolving to introduce innovative features and functionalities for developers to leverage effectively. These developments create exciting and novel prospects for enterprises to capitalize on. Additionally, societal demands play a significant role in driving these technological advancements forward.

Real-time engagement is a crucial factor that will shape the future of software development by improving collaboration, user experiences, and interactivity across diverse applications and industries. As technology advances further, the significance of RTE will only increase, driving innovation and meeting the fast-paced demands of the digital era.

Real-Time Engagement (RTE) is poised to revolutionize the future of software development practices in several impactful ways. One of its key strengths lies in real-time collaboration, transcending geographical barriers and fostering seamless teamwork for enhanced project management. Through RTE technologies, developers can also craft immersive and dynamic user experiences, elevating program usability and engagement. This technology's versatility extends to live streaming and webinars, enabling real-time user interaction for training, support, and demonstrations. RTE also offers real-time analytics and insights, equipping developers with timely data to make informed decisions and swiftly address issues. In essence, RTE emerges as a pivotal force shaping the future landscape of software development.

How are software development companies, especially startups, leveraging real-time engagement to enhance user experiences in applications across various sectors such as gaming, social entertainment, e-learning, and telemedicine?

Creating real-time engagement (RTE) frameworks and features from scratch can indeed be both costly and complex for businesses. However, by outsourcing the setup of the server and development of the framework, startups can concentrate on scaling their user base instead. Embracing RTE can significantly enhance user engagement and retention, while also offering the benefit of seamless integration with other technologies, providing a more flexible and enriched experience for app users.

RTE has proven to be a valuable asset for companies of all sizes, enabling them to develop highly efficient, scalable, and monetizable features.

RTE is also sector agnostic. For example, when it comes to gaming, gamers today desire more than just great game design. They want an engaging, social, and immersive experience. Implementing RTE allowed SuperGaming to add in-game real-time communication, increasing interactivity between players without negatively impacting gameplay. Another example is KUMU, a social media and live streaming experience platform, which added advanced audio capabilities allowing users to enjoy a range of engaging features such as voice effects, active-speaker recognition, and AI-powered noise cancellation.

How are emerging technologies like AR, VR, and Metaverse integrated into software development practices?

Emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and the Metaverse are increasingly becoming integral components of modern software development practices. The global AR, VR, and MR market is expected to reach approximately $300 billion by 2024. Software developers are leveraging AR technology to superimpose digital information onto the physical world, enhancing real-time interactions. This integration finds applications in fields like remote assistance, where technicians can guide users through complex tasks using AR overlays. VR, on the other hand, immerses users in entirely virtual environments. Developers are utilizing VR to create realistic simulations for training, education, and entertainment, enabling users to engage with content in novel, immersive ways.

The concept of the Metaverse takes this integration further, aiming to establish a collective virtual shared space that merges physical and digital realities. Developers are crafting interconnected ecosystems where users can seamlessly transition between different applications, creating a persistent and interconnected online presence. This integration is redefining social interactions, remote work, entertainment, and commerce, offering users a seamless blend of real and virtual experiences.

In software development, these technologies pose unique challenges and opportunities. Developers must master new tools and languages tailored to AR, VR, and Metaverse development. Design principles must be adapted to ensure usability and immersion within these alternate realities. Collaboration between various disciplines, including developers, designers, artists, and ethicists, is crucial to ensure holistic development.

How does the software development industry address security and data privacy challenges with real-time engagement applications?              

Through a combination of best practices, technology, and constant monitoring, the software development industry solves security and data privacy problems in real-time engagement apps. Because of the sensitive nature of the data being communicated, real-time engagement applications that include rapid communication and interaction between users require extra attention to security and data privacy.

Key considerations include:

Encryption: End-to-end encryption should be used to ensure that data sent between users is safe and cannot be intercepted by unauthorized parties. This prevents eavesdropping and makes sure the data is only accessible to the intended receivers.

Regular Software Updates and Patching: Keep the software, frameworks, libraries, and dependencies of the application up to date. Vulnerabilities in these components are frequently found and addressed, therefore remaining up to date is critical to avoiding exploitation.

Security by Design: Incorporate security measures from the start of the software development process. Integrate security practices into the application's design, development, testing, and deployment processes.

Compliance: Ensure that the application complies with relevant industry norms and standards, particularly if it deals with sensitive data.

In software development, data privacy is becoming increasingly critical. Between protection for consumers and data breaches, proper handling of customer information is critical to business success. Ignoring data privacy regulations can cost your company money, time, reputation, and other resources. Software development teams must be aware of current data privacy rules and verify that the software applications they create comply with these regulations. Furthermore, they should design their software solutions in a way that allows adaptation to subsequent regulatory mandates.