WebRTC World Feature Article

October 26, 2012

The Ericsson HTML5/WebRTC Browser - the Beginning of Change?


With the recent announcement that an experimental mobile browser for both the iPhone and Android devices has been made available by Ericsson, a potential future of endpoints may be getting clear. 

With this browser, Ericsson is pushing an agenda to make it possible for endpoints to have a more generic set of capabilities into which applications and communications can be delivered.   Obviously, having commonality in capabilities of end points is a great advantage for developers – reducing the number and complexity of platforms that require optimization. 

But this may be the precursor to a much larger trend – the ubiquitous browser that can be both an information and communications system.  While we think of a browser as being a PC device, this development emphasizes that a browser device can be anything with a screen, and with WebRTC – a speaker, microphone and (maybe) a camera.  Assuming there is an explosion of new endpoints with these capabilities, we can now begin to see a world where information and communications are available across a plethora of devices, most of which are not necessarily what we think of today as a "phone." 

Most cars, for example, have both a display and some form of wireless access (OnStar); how long before a WebRTC based communications engine is in the car?  Once these services can be delivered, what are the new capabilities of a car that can connect you to the environment around you?  You could talk to your fellow commuters, be actively guided in a group to avoid traffic jams, and so many other possibilities not yet thought of.  

Similarly, a television can rapidly become an active communications engine, so the TV in your home or your hotel room can become a communications point.

In the midst of this new trend of driving browser-based devices to have all these capabilities through the browser – to support both sophisticated apps and real-time communications – the value of a screen, a processor and wireless will create an explosion in devices and capabilities. I want my new doorbell to be an HTML5/WebRTC browser with a camera, so I can easily screen visitors from any device in my house, or anywhere in the world.




Edited by Braden Becker




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