WebRTC World Feature Article

November 29, 2012

WebRTC Google Keynote

Thursday morning, WebRTC Conference and Expo kicked off with a keynote presentation from Google Chrome. Hugh Finnan, director of Product Management, took the stage to discuss the latest trends in Internet, from app development to mobility.

Today, developers have an opportunity for creating apps the likes of which they have never seen before. The pace of innovation is taking off across browsers at previously unknown speeds, allowing for more and more apps across devices and browsers that can do things only dreamed of before. Even in the browsers themselves, most users are on evergreen browsers that automatically update, such as Chrome and Firefox, while content no longer requires plug-ins.

When it comes to Web video, innovation has been taking off nicely there as well. We’ve been seeing focus on high-quality fullscreen media, with adaptive HTTP streaming to make the videos load faster while still maintaining quality, and content protection to let content creators upload their work without fear.

In order to keep content safe, there’s a set of APIs called Encrypted Media Extensions. These use content decryption modules with a few key functions, such as requesting, retrieving, and updating licenses, and software decryption and content. Through these, premium content playback becomes accessible, while keeping the content protected.

On the mobility front, Finnan noted how the mobile Web browser has become a first-class application, more powerful than ever before. While mobile Web browsing used to be clunky and slow, it’s now better than ever, as mobile Internet usage is beginning to overtake that of desktops.

Even monetization can improve on the mobile Web. While it normally takes 25 steps to complete a mobile purchase, which drives most users to abandon it in frustration, the payment industry has been innovating to improve. Thanks to applications, such as Google Wallet, mobile transactions can be completed in as little as two clicks.

Perhaps ironically, however, were the demonstrations, which seemed to not like the crowded conference center network. That kept the videos slow, and connection difficult, which failed to showcase all the quality and capabilities that Google Chrome is capable of presenting. As such, however, I do not fault Google, but rather the circumstances of the demonstration. With so many people on the conference center’s free Wi-Fi network, it’s understandable that there would be such troubles.

The presentation ended by returning to Finnan’s main points. Content creation and innovation are up, and thanks to WebRTC, video conferencing solutions can be made with ease, connecting people across the net like never before.

Edited by Brooke Neuman


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