Scaling to Thousands of People in the Room with Agora

May 30, 2023 3 min read
Scaling to Thousands of People in the Room with Agora

This article is a Spotlight ✨ – part of a series of interviews with innovative Hubs creators highlighting their work.

We sat down with Ben Weekes, Sr Architect & Principal Software Engineer at Agora, to learn more.

Could you tell us a little about Agora?

Agora (NASDAQ: API) is a pioneer and global leader in Real-Time Engagement, providing developers with simple, flexible, and powerful APIs, to embed real-time voice, video, interactive streaming, chat, and artificial intelligence capabilities into their applications. We offer SDKs and low-code solutions for both Web and Native applications across all hardware.

How did you leverage Hubs to achieve your goals?

When looking at Hubs for a WebVR internal hackathon, I realized Hubs was using Mediasoup for its WebRTC voice and video conferencing. I knew that could cause potential problems due to Mediasoup’s single server architecture and least cost routing over the public internet.

I created an open-source adapter to allow Hubs developers to use Agora instead of Mediasoup.

In addition to providing higher quality voice and video with less lag, the Agora adapter allows Hubs to scale to 1000s of people in the same room. Using Voice Activity Detection (VAD), the Agora adapter subscribes to the 8 nearest talking people plus any admins in the world scene. Subscribing to more than 8 audio streams at the same time typically causes crackling and performance issues on many devices, so this approach is a game changer. The Alakazam team are using this adapter in their customized Hubs platform with great satisfaction and positive feedback.