Open Peer

What is Open Peer?

Open Peer is an open P2P signalling protocol with these main objectives:
  • Open - anyone is free to implement the protocol specification or download and utilize the reference clients and implement them into their own projects.
  • Peer Communication - find your peers by social identity or by unique ID on the network, connect and exchange media including real-time communications such as audio, video or messaging.
  • Social Identity Federation – allow identities hosted in one domain to be able to talk to the identities of another domain without peering agreements while providing strong identity validation
  • Strong security/privacy – not only are all communications encrypted and signalling/media bypasses server infrastructure, even the support servers involved do not know the encryption keying materials.
  • Scalability – Open Peer is designed to facilitate highly scalable.
  • WebRTC enabling protocol – Open Peer is the bridge that allows WebRTC to actually work; WebRTC embeds a real-time communication stack into browsers but does not include signalling; Open Peer adds all its features above including allowing web applications to communicate across domain infrastructure and thus removing the tendency to build web communication silos.

Read the entire Open Peer Specification at

To experience Open Peer in a production environment, download Hookflash Messenger from the iTunes App Store.

Experience Open Peer in a production network: Hookflash for iPad


Open Peer and WebRTC

When used in concert with the newly proposed open standard “WebRTC”, Open Peer becomes a powerful P2P signalling protocol on the wire, and much more.

Open Peer for WebRTC – White Paper

Open Peer empowers developers by providing compelling Identity Management and Real-time Communication tools for mobile and web.

An example use case…

ACME Development has built a messenger app for iOS (as an example) and now would like to add a few new features including real time voice and video calling.

ACME have their own ID model, they are using email addresses as a registration and authentication ID but also allow their users to log in using their own Social ID eg.  Facebook, LinkedIn.

Alice and Bob are typical users of the ACME service. Alice is registered to ACME using her email address. Bob is registered to ACME via Facebook and LinkedIn. Bob is logged into the ACME service via the ACME iPhone mobile app while Alice is on her laptop computer. Alice would like to talk to Bob, but Bob is seemingly off the grid.

The challenges:

  • Bob and Alice can only communicate using the ACME service when they are on the same social network, and even then only messaging is available and not voice or video.
  • Bob and Alice can only communicate using the ACME service when they are on the same device as Acme has only built an iOS application
  • Building a communications service is not easy nor cheap, and ACME does not have the expertise to build the network or maintain it

Open Peer solves these problems in several ways:

  • Social and Local ID federation | Weaving Identity models together so that there only needs to be one Identity marker which is shared between the users
  • Multiple developer toolkits including JavaScript / WebRTC | Open Peer can be deployed on the majority of all mobile and web platforms
  • Scaling via HCS is painless | All Open Peer client toolkits are free and the related deployment services provided by HCS are very affordable.

For a quick overview on Open Peer – watch the above video (7 mins).


This means that Alice and Bob can communicate with each other, regardless of which social network they are logged into, using any device they choose, yay! ACME can rest easy at night knowing their service is up, and its not costing them an arm and a leg to operate, double yay!.