Five Ways You Can Use PubNub Data Streams

3 min read Markus Kohler on Aug 31, 2023
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The PubNub platform enables you to establish and maintain persistent socket connections to any device (mobile, browser, desktop, and server) and push data to global audiences in less than 100 milliseconds. PubNub utilizes the Publish/Subscribe model for real-time data streaming and device signaling, supporting all the capabilities of WebSocketsSignalR, Socket.IOWebRTC Data Channel, and other streaming protocols.

Below are five ways to use PubNub:

1. Stream financial data, inventory, and price updates

Whether you’re tracking stock prices, keeping tabs on inventory, or bidding on a camera in an online auction, you need updated prices and logistics as they happen. Speed and reliability are paramount when streaming data, especially if it is vital to your business or user experience. You need up to the millisecond, accurate data streams. PubNub Data Stream enables you to create and maintain a persistent network connection to all devices, opening and delivering data in under 100 milliseconds. For example, when somebody bids on an item in a live auction, the price update is reflected on every other user's screen the instant that the user clicks the bid button.

2. Stream location data for live updating maps

The real-time updating map has become a staple feature in things like delivery, logistics, taxi and ride-sharing apps. Users now expect to be able to see their driver’s or asset's location and progress on a map. To ensure a smooth and accurate live updating map, you need to build location tracking functionality on top of a real-time network connection. With PubNub, you can publish location data by the millisecond, rather than every 5-10 seconds (which is the speed of some alternative options).

“In real-time, the passenger can see where the driver is. That was something that we couldn’t do before with polling. And that works really well. It really brings the app to life. When it was all on a polling system, it would feel kind of clunky, and for example, your taxi driver might move through a building or across a river. It works fantastically,” says Chris Moore of Roam Creative, who built Zoomy. 

3. Create a firehose with your data

What if you had the ability to deliver a constant, massive stream of data in real time, pushing out a stream of events as they happen to a client? Allow your users to drink from the firehose, a giant reliable, consumable spigot of data. PubNub can handle massive amounts of data and enables you to deliver this data in real time to any number of subscribers. Users can subscribe to certain channels of the firehose, and as an admin, you’re able to grant and revoke access as well. For example, the data firehose can stream all stock prices of every publicly traded company on Earth, and users can subscribe and unsubscribe from whatever companies they want.

4. Turn a smartphone into a remote control

Standard TV remotes can suck. There always seems to be something blocking the receiver, or it’s running out of batteries, or you can’t even find your remote in the first place. Today, over half the U.S. has a smartphone, and a quarter of the U.S. owns a tablet, so why not replace a standard remote with a fully featured mobile soft remote, all controlled from your smartphone? But TVs aren’t the only thing that can be controlled with soft remotes. PubNub enables you to signal any smart device from anywhere in the world, including thermostats, kitchen appliances and lights. With a smartphone, you can make your devices smart.

5. Consistent lockstepping for multiplayer games

As a gamer, nothing is worse than being at the climax of a battle, freeze/lag, and five seconds later you’re dead. Consistent lockstepping is essential for a smooth, fluid, multiplayer gaming experience for thousands of users simultaneously. To ensure consistent lockstepping, you need a real-time network for fast and reliable delivery of events, keeping all gamers in sync. With PubNub, all actions and commands within a multiplayer game are delivered in under a tenth of a second, allowing you to deploy multiplayer games to hundreds of thousands of users at a given time.