WebRTC World Feature Article

December 03, 2012

Mozilla Shows Off WebRTC Conferencing, File Transfer in Firefox

At the recent WebRTC Conference and Expo — co-hosted by TMC, Systemwide Media and PKE Consulting —the power and potential of WebRTC has led many companies to embrace the technology. Indeed, efforts are well underway to see most major Web browsers integrate WebRTC, with Mozilla's Firefox being the latest to do so.

Mozilla has recently shown off WebRTC integration in Firefox, including real-time video conferencing, as well as file transfer capabilities. The latter capability is thanks to the implementation of the Datachannels API that is part of WebRTC, which allows for instant messaging and file transfer. Specifically, Mozilla's demonstration saw two clients engaged in a real-time video conversation sending and viewing tabs and files with minimal user interaction.

This sort of functionality takes WebRTC one step closer to challenging popular closed communication protocols such as Skype — especially since the peer-to-peer protocol automatically encrypts communications between two hosts.

"WebRTC is a powerful new tool that enables web app developers to include real-time video calling and data sharing capabilities in their products," said Maire Reavy, product lead for Firefox Platform Media at Mozilla, in a statement. "While many of us are excited about WebRTC because it will enable several cool gaming applications and improve the performance and availability of video conferencing apps, WebRTC is proving to be a great tool for social apps."

Mozilla has obviously embraced WebRTC, as the protocol is very much in line with the company's dedication to open platforms and standards. In fact, the company's chief innovation officer, Todd Simpson, delivered a keynote address at the WebRTC Conference and Expo last week.

Mozilla has yet to say when its WebRTC implementation will be included as part of a stable release of Firefox, most estimates suggest it will happen sooner rather than later.

Google's Chrome browser, meanwhile, became the first to implement WebRTC with the release of Chrome 23 early in November. However, this addition did not include the Datachannels API.

Edited by Brooke Neuman


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