WebRTC Expert Feature

July 02, 2013

WebRTC Conference and Expo 2013 Atlanta Wrap-up

The WebRTC Conference and Expo last week showed an almost explosive growth in WebRTC offerings. From large companies through small start-ups, the innovation that WebRTC promised is beginning to come out. With 33 demos and over 50 companies showing their WebRTC offerings, the event was watershed for the new technology. With attendance almost doubled from last year in San Francisco, the WebRTC Conference and Expo is proving to be the event for the WebRTC eco-system.

Across two and a half days and 33 demos, the state of the art in WebRTC was demonstrated, discussed, dissected and examined. The enthusiasm for the technology was evident throughout the hall and sessions, but became particularly clear in a number of the demos.

Bistri, Priologic Software/tawk.com, Requestec, vLine , and Weemo all were showing video conferencing platforms that are available direct to end users, often with a fremium model. A few companies, Solobrate (who won the Best of Show Award), Requestec, and popexpert showed WebRTC as part of larger apps. The number of contact center players was even larger with Avaya, Bolder Thinking, Genesys, Presence Technologies, and Requestec all showing contact center applications of WebRTC.

Image via Shutterstock

The number of companies offering tools to help developers and deployers was also significant. Apidaze, Crocodile, Quobis, TokBox, and Voxeo Labs all showed tools and some form of solution. TokBox stood out with a clever demo of airCnC (a takeoff on airBnB where the bed and breakfast was replaced with castles and carriages).

Beyond applications development, a large number of companies were showing other components to help in the WebRTC deployments. Ingate Systems, Mavenir, Oracle/Acme Packet, Sansay, Temasys Communications, and Xirsys showed different forms of SBCs and ICE. TURN, and STUN platforms. Of particular note was the QoS implementations shown by Ingate in its Q-Turn product. Genband showed multiple solutions, emphasizing a commitment to WebRTC for its customers. Finally, Audiocodes, Dialogic, and Radisys all showed media management products, dealing with the thorny issues that emerge when peer connections are no longer enough.

A lively session discussing the values of outsourcing WebRTC developments emphasized the potential of Professional Services, both for carriers and enterprises. Daitan Group, Priologic Software, Quobis, and Requestec all demonstrated their ability to help achieve production goals.

The one trend that was obvious was that companies are beginning to see WebRTC as an adjunct to a larger app. In fact, as Google demonstrated Cube Slam, it became clear that even if you have video in an app that emphasizes other capabilities first, the video may only be viewed a small percentage of the time. This could have a profound impact on networks as users begin to use video in applications and services where it has a background ancillary value...video water coolers anyone?

There were a number of lively sessions. The discussion of the values of H264 versus VP8 as a codec choice ended up running so far over it had to be cut off, with a promise by Carl Ford to enable a continuation on a future bridge. The session discussing the potential of an alternative dual business model for Service Providers generated a lot of interest, as did the enterprise sessions.

Finally, with attendance nearing 700, the event demonstrated that WebRTC is beginning to achieve velocity and that there is a strong emerging eco-system that is driving the technology and it's use forward. The event proved to be valuable across the board with great comments. As the Beatles lyrics go (with a bit of artistic interpretation):

...Having been some days in preparation
A splendid time is guaranteed for all
And tonight WebRTC is topping the bill...

It is obvious that the industry is moving fast and by the WebRTC Conference and Expo West in Santa Clara November 19-21, the next round of innovation will be presented. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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