This week, Calgary-born HookFlash announced the availability an its Open Peer Software Development Kit for iOS. The SDK provides developers with peer-to-peer mobile voice, video, and messaging on Apple’s mobile platform.
"Open Peer iOS SDK aims to realize [Steve] Jobs’ vision,” explains CEO Trent Johnsen. He's referring to when Steve declared in 2010 that FaceTime would become an open standard, something that unfortunately failed to materialize.
People just want voice, video, and text communications embedded in whatever they’re doing, Hookflash says. A that’s what Open Peer does.
So that's what people want. But what does Hookflash want? To be acquired by Cisco.
Cisco, which has concerns about Skype, could take down the Microsoft-owned competitor if it bought Hookflash and built on the startup's technology, which is based on WebRTC, a product of two major standards bodies (the Internet Engineering Task Force and W3C). At least that's according to Hookflash.
Founder Erik Lagerway told Business Insider earlier this month that Cisco is missing the big picture; that WebRTC will solve its current problems. Instead, Cisco should focus on the future, a world where Skype is based on WebRTC, as well as pretty much every other video messaging service (Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft have all already backed the standard). In this world, Cisco needs a top-notch WebRTC product to compete with future-Skype.
However, some argue the idea is folly. Critics suggest that Hookflash, while perhaps a solid product, doesn't have nearly enough clout for Cisco to use it as a Skype killer. Plus, Cisco's concerns with Skype are real today—while it should employ foresight and react accordingly, it also can't afford to pretend like Skype isn't already a threat.