THE ANGELS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The world’s perception of what real-time collaboration might look like is about to change. Croquet Corporation, the technology leader in Edge Collaboration (a new, fast-growing sector of Edge Computing) has launched the Croquet Collaboration Platform™ that enables developers around the world to create multi-user apps with real-time capabilities never before possible.
While Croquet’s exclusive mission is to provide developer tools and infrastructure — including the Croquet Library, APIs, and highly useful frameworks — the company has launched a free reference app called PiiX (Photo Instantaneous Interactive Experience) to showcase the technology. With PiiX, anyone from consumers to advanced developers can now test this revolutionary new collaboration technology, with no registration required.
Scan a QR code and watch PiiX, a real-time, collaborative annotation app jump right onto your phone or tablet. Invite others and while you annotate or manipulate the image, the results appear simultaneously in real time on all participant screens. All users have simultaneous control. Users often describe the experience as “magical”. But it’s the global infrastructure underneath, with frameworks on top of it, that makes everything possible. Click here to try PiiX.
“We believe that all future applications should work together — including apps for productivity, social collaboration, telemedicine, sports, interactive marketing, AR/VR, SaaS, gaming, you name it,” said David A. Smith, founder and CTO of croquette . “With this launch, Croquet is providing all the tools and infrastructure developers they need to easily build stunning, real-time, fully synchronous collaboration apps that make today’s multi-user apps look like anachronisms. We expect developers to find great ways to use this technology that we haven’t even imagined.”
Croquet was funded in early 2020 to continue development and private beta testing of the infrastructure, libraries, tools and reference app launched today. The use cases for the technology are vast and varied for startups, the enterprise, commercial applications, social collaboration, media, marketing, interactive advertising and social games. See more details about the use case on the Croquet website.
A look under the hood
Croquet’s first of its kind Edge Collaboration infrastructure is now deployed worldwide on every continent (except Antarctica). It offers a super-fast reflector-based network (with a latency of only 10-15 ms depending on location), as well as a unique edge collaboration protocol and synchronization service that enables real-time collaboration at the edge of the network where performance is the best . Servers have long stood between users and real-time collaboration. With Edge Collaboration, nothing runs on servers, so developers can easily create apps for instant shared experiences.
All the “smarts” of the application are on the customer side. Each user operates a shared virtual machine, with each device guaranteed to run the exact same program at the exact same time and in exactly the same way. These client-side bit-identical virtual machines use a replicated computational model that enables ultra-low latency, low-bandwidth synchronization, and instant interactions.
Applications generate events that are sent to an Edge Reflector, the architectural center of the Croquet infrastructure, which then redistributes them to each session participant’s replicated virtual machine, ensuring accurate synchronization with exceptionally low latency. Reflectors are small pieces of software that sit on the Edge and are turned up or down all over the world to support high-performance sessions. Croquet Infrastructure is highly scalable with reflectors running around the world, all designed to work with existing online and mobile networks, including 5G. Developers can sign up here to receive a free key to start using Croquet.
“Croquet is the best computer thing I’ve seen in the last 15 years,” said Alan Kay, a Croquet consultant since its inception, and Turing Award winner has long been considered the father of the personal computer. “It solves huge problems associated with building real-time collaborative applications in extremely elegant ways. The internet has needed this for years.”
Other important facts about the Croquet Library, API, and frameworks include:
No back-end code; simple front-end, client-side only. Easy for even novice programmers
Quick and easy to implement. Changes the entire dynamics of multi-user app development so developers can build and deploy multi-user apps in days, not months
Application status is automatically shared so new users can join a live session right away
Abstracts the developer from powerful underlying infrastructure; it just works
Multiple frameworks available for critical tasks
Works globally with extremely low latency
Privacy-oriented; every message is encrypted end-to-end. The servers only see encrypted data; so even leaks wouldn’t hurt privacy
No issues with timing or events that are out of order. Croquet uses “replicated calculation” to eliminate message “collisions”
Edge reflectors exist as software and have no application state; they are extremely scalable globally and can function as a self-expanding network
Check out this technical FAQ on the Croquet website
Development of the company’s current technology was led by Smith and co-founders Vanessa Freudenberg, Aran Lunzer, Yoshiki Ohshima and Brian Upton – a team of architects and engineers based in Los Angeles, CA.
“This is an amazing team that has built something remarkable,” said John Payne, CEO of Croquet. “The Croquet platform and infrastructure will enable a whole new breed of applications that could not exist before, while supporting the addition of collaboration features to existing applications around the world in a highly scalable way.”
The collaborative technology market as a whole is huge. COVID has accelerated demand by 10 years, but so far the technology has lagged. Croquet changes the conversation, enabling a quantum leap in developing Instantaneous Shared Experiences.
Croquet Corporation – the technology leader in Edge Collaboration, a new, fast-growing sector of Edge Computing – operates a global Edge Collaboration Platform and Collaboration Infrastructure that enables developers to quickly and easily create a wide variety of multi-user collaboration apps for web and mobile, on virtually unlimited scale. Croquet has its spiritual roots in work begun in the 1990s by founder and CTO David A. Smith, Alan Kay, David P. Reed and Andreas Raab in the Croquet Project, an open source 2D/3D collaborative work environment written in small talk. Founded in 2019, Croquet was funded by SIP Global Partners and a group of veteran technology and financial industry veterans. Visit www.croquet.io.