WebRTC World Feature Article

August 14, 2014

What's The Big Deal With WebRTC? Speaker Offers Six-Pronged Primer on the Technology


If you’ve been hearing a lot about WebRTC recently, you are certainly not alone. The technology, a free, open project that enables Web browsers with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities through JavaScript APIs, is being talked about breathlessly in technology circles.

But as Billy Chia, full stack marketer at Respoke, noted during his talk “New Communications Innovation With WebRTC,” on Wednesday afternoon at FreePBXWorld during ITEXPO, outside a specialized group, the technology is still a bit of a mystery.

“The reality is that there are small niches where WebRTC is talked about a lot, but outside of those areas it’s not coming up all that much,” Chia remarked.

The primary purpose of Chia’s talk was to explain in simple terms why WebRTC is such a big deal. So, he broke down what the technology offers and how it can be used into six primary points:

WebRTC is Free and Open Source

Because there is no licensing cost, products built on WebRTC typically get made for less money than they would otherwise. That reduced cost lowers the barrier to entry for developers. 

WebRTC Offers Excellent Quality of Communications

As Chia explained, WebRTC uses quality codecs that ensure top-notch quality of both audio and video communications. 

WebRTC Creates a Greater Number of Web Developers

Prior to the presentation Chia searched LinkedIn to compare the number of professionals proficient in JavaScript to those fluent in SIP. He found that there are 2.2 million JavaScript developers and only 250,000 for SIP.

“So the potential number of developers is almost an order of magnitude larger,” Chia observed.

WebRTC Changes How the Web Works

In the past, passing communications meant going through a server, which then relayed data to the other endpoint. As an example, Chia pointed to Facebook, where users can communicate, but not before sending information through a middle man. With WebRTC, however, the user can take information from one browser and port it to another. “To Web developers, this is a revolutionary idea,” Chia said. “You’ve never been able to do this on the Web before.”

WebRTC Increases the Number of Endpoints

Chia asked the audience to imagine how many smartphones exist in the world and pointed out that these all contain browsers. These browsers are potential endpoints for WebRTC.

“There are more than a billion endpoints that support this technology,” the speaker explained .

WebRTC Offers Communications as a Feature

As Chia explained, if you want to communicate today, you generally use a device or product dedicated to communication. But what WebRTC offers is the ability to take a product designed for a different purpose and communications-enable it.

WebRTC offers possibilities for businesses across practically all verticals, but before it can fully join the mainstream, the general public must gain a firmer grasp on the basics of the technology. On Wednesday afternoon at ITEXPO, Chia helped attendees at his presentation start to move in that direction.

 



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