WebRTC World Feature Article

November 05, 2012

WebRTC Makes Interoperable Real-Time Web Communications Possible

WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is the new HTML5 standard framework that enables sharing of video, audio and data between Web browsers, which is set to open the door to a new and disruptive wave of Web applications. It is sure to be a game-changer in the telecommunications industry as Martin Geddes, founder & principal, Martin Geddes Consulting Ltd predicts that 10 million users will have experienced a WebRTC session by the end of 2013.

Over the years, HTML5 has introduced new capabilities to the Web, but WebRTC will spark the most innovation. WebRTC’s ability to directly connect to other browsers introduces new possibilities for Web developers, and enables the development of new applications in telecommunications and other fields that involve direct user-to-user interaction.

Providing interactive communications between two Web browsers is possible today with implementations allowing robust communications using audio, video or any collaboration. But, these solutions are not interoperable as they require plug-ins in order to work. So, WebRTC was designed to solve this interoperability issue as an open framework that enables real-time communications in the browser including network, audio and video components used in voice and video telephone, conferencing applications and much more.

“Service interoperability is over-rated; most of the interesting new services will be islands and that’s just fine. Some of them will be really big ones, others in archipelagoes,” Geddes told Webrtcworld in an exclusive interview.

According to Venture Beat,  WebRTC integrates browser-to-browser communications directly into the fabric of the Internet, which opens up new possibilities including:

  • Rich image and video apps on mobile browsers
  • Real-time news streaming from hones to news outlets
  • Live Web support through one line of code
  • File distribution without software
  • Live audio, video and data sharing as simple as viewing a webpage

Geddes told Webrtcworld that his customers would get a great deal of benefits from WebRTC including more advanced simplicity, technology, licensing, management, operation, and even user adoption. Though, the one thing that would accelerate WebRTC user adoption, according to Geddes, is if Apple fully integrated into iOS and its real-time comms suite.

He thinks businesses that will be most impacted by WebRTC will be conferencing, non-browser audio (e.g. Flash plug-ins, stand-alone apps like Skype), and 4G mobile voice (esp. VoLTE).

However, WebRTC will create new challenges for government censorship and controlling regimes as the peer-to-peer streams will be difficult to monitor. WebRTC will also cause disruption to the video conferencing and Internet telephony markets because Skype will no longer be needs on a desktop or smartphone. IMTC reported that the upcoming versions of Mozilla and Chrome will allow developers to capture media from cameras and microphones and send it to a browser on another machine to simplify the development of communication applications, making it possible to duplicate the functionality of Skype or Google Chat by using browser based applications. This disruption is predicated on the ease of implementing WebRTC and the low cost of peer-to-peer communications.

The major barriers of WebRTC adoption, according to Geddes, are network quality and contention effects, widespread distribution of end points and mobile OS integration.

“WebRTC is a game changer because there are only two technology stacks that matter going forward: the Web, and Apple. All non-Apple voice will gravitate towards WebRTC. How Apple reacts remains to be seen,” explained Geddes.

“Voice will become just another Web medium, subject to the Web itself evolving to include activity streams and ‘hypervoice’ linking structures,” he continued.

The impact of WebRTC on IP communications could be revolutionary. The Internet is moving towards a new world of seamless communication, between peers and across all devices, which will result in new applications that will change our lives.

In just a couple of weeks, the WebRTC Conference and Expo will be taking place in San Francisco, Calif. from November 27-29. This conferencing will provide an opportunity for companies, Web application providers, investors and developers to understand how WebRTC will challenge and change today's communications landscape.

“WebRTC Expo is a compelling event for a very broad audience,” said Geddes. “Voice is the new frontier of the Web. Anyone who is interested in bringing a richer customer experience should be investigating this technology. It’s about the Web adopting the native tongue of humans.”

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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