Frozen Mountain Software delivers commercial software libraries for real-time applications. For example, its IceLink offering is a collection of libraries that enable developers to create reliable UDP media streams between peers, regardless of the peer's network configuration and environment. IceLink traverses every possible firewall/NAT combination to guarantee connection establishment. It uses IETF/IANA standards to provide the broadest compatibility with third-party components. And it includes a WebRTC extension for select platforms that implements the WebRTC standards for communication, including stream formatting, RTP/RTCP packet processing, DTLS key exchange, audio/video capturing/rendering, audio/video encoding/decoding, data channels, a full MediaStream API and more.
With the Real Time Web Solutions event just around the corner, we thought now would be a good time to touch base with Ted Venema, Frozen Mountain Software’s vice president of business development, to get his thoughts on some of the important questions related to real-time communications and WebRTC. Here’s an excerpt from that conversation.
What vertical applications are early opportunities for the real-time web?
Venema: We have over 300 customers in 47 countries using our software to create applications, and the main verticals we have seen are telehealth, education, telephony and customer service.
What do you see as the biggest barrier(s) to the real-time web today?
Venema: The main issues we see all relate to incompatibility not just on the web, but with mobile and native platforms as well. Yes, WebRTC is not supported on Safari, but most people want an app on mobile anyway. The real deployment issues are around WebRTC/ORTC compatibility and platform compatibility as well as getting everyone to support the same versions of the same codecs and having those codecs freely available.
Additionally, the acceptance of the Internet and UDP as transmission protocols still makes some organizations nervous for fear of hacking information. Generally we expect these will go away as more and more success stories emerge, leaving the biggest barrier that the major players such as Google, Apple and Microsoft are obviously treading lightly so as not to give away business they already have.
Is video a game changer in your application?
Venema: Absolutely. Text chat and audio communications through VoIP have been around for a while. The next big wave is adding video. I expect we will soon see phones on people’s desks with video built in. As a company we used to market just chat solutions; today everyone is looking for video as well.
What factors should an applications company look for in its real-time web partners?
Venema: Knowledge would be No. 1 on my list. Real-time web is still a changing world and working with organizations that know RTC and the changes still happening in RTC are very important. Partners that can help you move away from the technology of RTC by providing products and services that eliminate the roadblocks, such as technology differences, are also very important as they let you concentrate on your application and the use of RTC rather than RTC technical issues.
Edited by Alicia Young