WebRTC Expert Feature

January 14, 2016

WebRTC and the Real-Time Web - Alive and Well in China


In early January, the first Real Time Web and WebRTC event in China premiered in Beijing. This event was the first in the change from the WebRTC focus of WebRTC Conference and Expo to the larger focus of Real Time Web Solutions. The change in focus is to reflect the changes we are seeing in the market. The rapid adoption of the web communications model is emerging in mobile applications, web apps, and customer care. In all of these cases, the new paradigm of communications is managed within the application environment directly and without relying on traditional telecommunications carriers. This is the new model of the real-time web. In the Real Time Web, real-time services including voice, video, and data transmission within an application are seamless and integrated to optimize the overall experience. However, delivering a quality experience takes more than just WebRTC, it requires a complete solution approach, hence the reason for expanding beyond WebRTC to Real Time Web Solutions. While the first event with this new focus was held in Beijing, the next will be in New York City in August 2016.

The Beijing Real Time Web Solutions event was the first event of its type in China as well as the first international event that WebRTC World has produced. Overall it was a stunning success. There were more than 450 attendees, representing more than 250 separate companies and organizations in China. Hosted in Zhongguancun, generally known as the Silicon Valley of China, the event was well positioned to kick off the real-time web in China. The event included a mix of English and Mandarin program materials that kept the audience listening intently. After an introduction to WebRTC and why it is transformational, Tony Zhao, CEO of Agora Labs, talked about how real-time services in China are defined by the mobile-first environment and the network challenges. He was joined by a panel focused on the differences between Asia and the western markets for real-time web adoption. Doug Sommer of Intel talked about Intel’s major effort to enable real-time web services in its architecture, including IoT as well as media processing. The morning closed with a panel focusing on making money in the real-time web services market, with the panelists agreeing there are three major models: tools and other capabilities to support development and deployment, disrupting existing markets and services with innovation and price advantage, and creating new applications and services using real time on the web. While the panel agreed that tools were a great market, the potential of new transformational apps and experiences marrying real time with the power of the web merged as the favorite for new developers.

Later, the conference turned into a separate real-time web business session and the WebRTC University delivered by Dan Burnett and Alan Johnston. Alan and Dan had more than 100 attendees at their unique WebRTC training. Dan commented that many of the students were asking advanced questions, indicating that many had been experimenting with WebRTC before the conference. For the sponsors there was a continual stream of new developers and users with which to discuss opportunities.

While the adoption WebRTC has taken a number of years in western markets, China and the Asian markets appear ready to adopt quickly. Based on conversations and presentations, the Asian developer and innovation community appear ready to accelerate deployment and new applications using the learning experiences of the last few years to move quickly in enabling the massive China (and overall Asian) Internet population with real-time web solutions and applications.

While the China Real Time Web Solutions is the first event to incorporate the change from a pure WebRTC focus (WebRTC Conference and Expo) to an event bringing together all aspects of real time on the web (Real Time Web Solutions Conference), as I mentioned earlier, it is also a precursor to next summer’s exciting event in New York City. That event, where the NYC community of web app developers and content producers will have their first Real Time Web Solutions event, will happen Aug. 1-4, 2016.

Phil Edholm is with PKE Consulting LLC (www.pkeconsulting.com).




Edited by Kyle Piscioniere



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