To help build out the video streaming and two-way audio components required for its VR-based interactive fitness solution, Blue Goji enlisted Mission on the strength of the provider’s deep media & entertainment industry expertise.
“Our experience with Mission was very positive. I was really happy with the whole process of developing with the Mission team, and especially pleased with Mission’s responsiveness and communication – that was a night and day difference with our previous AWS provider.”
Backend Project Lead, Blue Goji
To develop a proof of concept transcode pipeline that could stream live video to its userbase, Blue Goji realized it needed to bring in a knowledgeable AWS managed services provider with proficiency in the media & entertainment space.
Blue Goji develops fitness gamification solutions that empower users to experience virtual reality gaming while using exercise equipment. Through unique and gratifying gaming experiences, users are spurred to develop healthier habits – and those with chronic conditions can receive life-changing therapy delivered through a more enjoyable and motivating method.
In order to allow fitness instructors to lead exercise or therapy sessions – and for users to speak with instructors and with one another – Blue Goji’s platform needed to offer reliable video streaming and two-way audio communication capabilities. These capabilities required the development of a transcode pipeline that could ingest both live-streamed and stored video, and then serve video to users via a streaming player. The company planned to build its new platform with AWS services, as Blue Goji had been leveraging AWS since 2014.
While Blue Goji initially considered developing the transcode pipeline and communication capabilities in-house, deeper analysis determined that a service provider would likely provide a faster time-to-market and enable Blue Goji’s technical team to focus on other initiatives. Service provider expertise with AWS – as well as knowledge working with media-heavy platforms and applications – would be imperative to develop a viable proof of concept transcode pipeline. From there, the in-house team could integrate the project for a planned go-live date in late 2019.
Blue Goji had worked with another AWS provider on other projects, but had a poor experience: the company routinely took several days to respond to questions, and increased its pricing until it was prohibitively expensive. The challenge became finding a more responsive AWS provider with the right expertise and a price point that made outsourcing the transcode pipeline proof of concept a confident ROI decision.
Blue Goji enlisted Mission to develop the proof of concept transcode pipeline, utilizing Amazon Elemental MediaLive for live video processing and WebRTC for real-time communication.
Blue Goji contacted AWS for advice finding a more capable provider with industry experience. Following a competitive bidding process, Blue Goji was won over by Mission due to the proposed scope of work, experience working with media-heavy clients, technical knowledge, pricing, and responsiveness. Mission quickly demonstrated a full understanding of Blue Goji’s requirements and goals, and showed flexibility to make rapid adjustments in scoping out the project.
Using AWS Elemental MediaLive, Mission quickly implemented the live streaming component of the proof of concept. Mission then leveraged WebRTC to build two-way real-time audio communication into the solution; this involved adding significant code to manage Blue Goji’s specific requirements. Mission encountered a few hiccups and new challenges throughout the custom development and scaling of the two-way communication solution (and audio and video resource APIs), but ultimately succeeded in delivering an effective proof of concept. The solution is hosted on Amazon EC2.
To facilitate open and collaborative communication between the Mission and Blue Goji teams – which meant connecting with Blue Goji team members across the U.S, Europe, and South America – Mission set up a dedicated Slack channel for mission control. Toward the end of the project, the Mission and Blue Goji teams also engaged in twice-daily sync-up sessions in order to ensure the proof of concept crossed the finish line with both sides on the same page. With the project successful, Mission and Blue Goji then conducted a six-week knowledge transfer with Mission in an advisory role. This prepared Blue Goji’s technical team to ably take control of the functioning solution going forward.
“Timeliness was also an important factor for us, and Mission was just ready to go when we needed it. Delays weren’t ever an issue. Mission was also cost effective, and delivered exactly what we specified. We’re integrating Mission’s proof of concept now, and it works just as planned. This was a win from my perspective.”
Backend Project Lead, Blue Goji
Blue Goji got the proof of concept transcode pipeline it needed – on time, on budget, and without monopolizing its developers’ time.
By leveraging Mission’s expertise and development capabilities, Blue Goji could confidently outsource an important project and keep internal staff free to focus on product development. Blue Goji saved three months of work, at a comparable cost, while receiving the project outcome it hoped to achieve. Also, with Blue Goji ultimately integrating and operating the Mission-built proof of concept, the close collaborative relationship between the companies has paid dividends in expediting that transfer.
Blue Goji is currently on target to make its video, chat, and data streaming solution fully available by early 2020. Looking forward, Blue Goji is keeping Mission in mind for future projects, which might include creating a backend management system for storing and streaming video content on-demand, and a potential project utilizing natural language processing and machine learning technologies.
Blue Goji is a wellness technology startup company focused on improving the health of users. Through fitness gamification, Blue Goji utilizes the latest virtual reality and gaming technology in its exercise and disease management platform. The company creates unique controllers and games that work directly with standard cardio equipment to make developing healthier habits a fun and engaging gaming experience. Blue Goji’s creations are purposely designed to allow everyone – regardless of age, gender, or physical condition – to benefit.