WebRTC World Feature Article

March 26, 2013

Conversat.io Makes it Easier to Use WebRTC


There are a lot of new offerings coming as a result of WebRTC. One is a Web-based, video chat tool which only needs users to visit a URL to take part. Soon, WebRTC could even replace Skype or Flash.

WebRTC (real-time communication) is a standard under development, whereby audio, video and data are all shared and used live between multiple users. The WebRTC API is being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium.

In addition, there’s a new product that makes WebRTC easier to use, called “conversat.io.” It lets users take part in free, multi-user video conversation, and no plug-ins are needed. Anyone at a URL becomes part of the call.

Two Web browsers support conversat.io, Chrome and Firefox’s Nightly Channel.

The Mozilla Hacks blog and &yet worked together to come up with conversat.io, according to a recent report from webmonkey.com.

“I’m convinced WebRTC has the potential to have a huge impact on how we communicate,” according to a blog post from Henrik Joreteg on Hacks.Mozilla.org. “We already used stuff like Skype, Facetime, and Google Hangouts. But the simplicity and convenience of just opening a URL in a browser and instantly being in a conversation is powerful. Once this technology is broadly available and on mobile devices, it’s nothing short of a game changer for communications.”

But there are some challenges he identified with WebRTC, such as differences among browsers when engaged in “instantiating peer connections, generating and processing signaling messages, and attaching media streams to video elements.” When looking at these options, Joreteg recommends using SimpleWebRTC.js.

Here is one important key: “Users who want to connect to each other join the same ‘room,’ which basically means: call ‘join’ with the same string,” he explained.

SimpleWebRTC is not yet ready for production. Meanwhile, the new product created some excitement on the Mozilla blog. For instance, one blogger, “Julien” called the new product “awesome. Can’t wait to get rid of skype and co’s to favor this kind of open technology!”




Edited by Braden Becker




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