For those who needed a little more convincing that Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) was a concept rapidly gaining ground, prepare to get that little extra shot of evidence in the form of Saypage, a service set to launch tomorrow, January 29. When it does, it's going to provide a whole new way to carry out meetings, and it's going to be powered, in part, by WebRTC.
Saypage wants to give users a new way to bill their time by offering a place for those users to set up meetings via standard smartphone apps and Web browsers, offering the ability to stage a face-to-face meeting online, like several other services do. But Saypage is also poised to offer several new features as well, which improve on the standard and make Saypage a sound value.
Using a combination of WebRTC and Adobe Flash, the meetings can take place in the standard Web browser. This eliminates, in turn, the need for an extra plug-in or other download to establish the meeting. Saypage can also work with standard telephone systems to provide what's described as a "WebRTC to SIP functionality" that allows the systems to coexist peacefully. Additionally, meetings can be recorded and played back at a later date as needed, along with several other important functions like virtual whiteboard capabilities, media sharing, screen sharing, advanced scheduling functions and more.
That's a lot to offer, no mistake. It certainly gives Saypage the ability to compete with entrenched front-runners like Skype thanks to a sheer glut of features. But how long will Saypage's array of features be sufficient to compete in a market where quite a lot of development is going on in the direction of WebRTC-related products? This technology is big for a lot of reasons, and a lot of companies want a slice of that particular pie. Additionally, there is a larger issue to consider in whether WebRTC will be best expressed via browsers or via apps, a line that Saypage, at least in the short term, is clearly not trying to straddle. But what is mainly a browser tool today can become an app tool tomorrow, so this may not affect Saypage too deeply in the long term.
Saypage's long-term competitive capability is, as yet, unknown, but it will certainly be something to watch as WebRTC makes a move to become one of the biggest things in technology and gives us both a lot of new functionality and several new competing firms to watch.
Edited by Brooke Neuman