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February 25, 2013

WebRTC Brings Real-Time Communications to the Web

A recent post on Mozilla’s WebRTC blog highlights the virtues of Web real-time communications. Enabling video calls and file-sharing (currently a Firefox first) between browsers that can easily be integrated across every website, the blogger suggested that WebRTC standardization effort is in progress, driven by the W3C consortium, also known as the WebRTC working group.

Key benefits underlined by the blogger include video/audio chatting with a customer service representative when buying products online, share almost anything on your computer or mobile device with family or friends (vacation photos, memorable videos) or even just a link to a news story that is interesting – simply by dragging the item into your video chat window.

The blog post indicates that today, all parts of WebRTC, getUserMedia, PeerConnection and DataChannels are available to Firefox Aurora users. While getUserMedia allows a developer to capture the user’s camera and microphone data (with the user’s permission) easily, PeerConnection enables the audio and video calling in a secure, hassle-free way. And DataChannels, which Mozilla is the first to implement, can be used by itself or combined with an audio/video chat to send almost any data that the browser can access.

In addition, all voice, audio and data communications are encrypted allowing for highly secure human or data communication exchanges.

This week at the Mobile World Congress, Mozilla, Ericsson and AT&T are taking WebRTC to the next level by demonstrating a proof of concept enabling Firefox to sync with a consumers existing phone number and provide calling services without any plug-ins to download. A demo in Mozilla booth will show how consumers can easily take and receive video calls from their mobile phones or desktop browser using WebRTC or share their web experiences with friends or family who might be on a desktop PC or Mozilla mobile phone across the other side of the world, wrote the blogger.

As per the blog post, the joint demonstration leverages Ericsson’s Web Communications Gateway, Mozilla Firefox Social API and WebRTC support in Firefox. The demonstration will also show how Firefox can perform many functions usually confined to a mobile device, such as voice and video calls and SMS/MMS messaging.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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