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November 12, 2013

Talky Strips WebRTC Down to the Basics

WebRTC has been supported in Chrome and Firefox for a while now — well, maybe a bit longer for Chrome — and as such, there are a number of options available for users looking to participate in a little browser-based video communications. It may seem like all of these WebRTC-based services are equal since they’re all based on the same basic technology, but they do have their differentiators.

Take Talky, for example, a WebRTC service built by Richland, Wash.-based open Web software company &yet. Talky stands apart from the crowd by offering possibly the simplest way to initiate WebRTC calling. Indeed, a person need only type in the name of a conversation to get a WebRTC session started. Additional participants can be added by sending them the link to your chat room what appears in plain text in your browser’s URL bar. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

To be fair, it’s not as if other such services are particularly difficult to use, but many ask that you sign in first, whether via email or a social networking site, usually Facebook or Google+. With Talky, this step is done away with.

It’s appropriate that Talky is so simple to use since it’s based on the open source SimpleWebRTC toolkit. With SimpleWebRTC, a person can, as the website claims, “build cool stuff” in minutes. We saw something similar earlier this year from Fresh Tilled Soil, but that was more of a way to enable people to embed WebRTC onto their websites easily. SimpleWebRTC, on the other hand, offers a great deal of power and flexibility as it is built around a number of independent modules, which can be modified.

In Talky’s case, the goal seems to be to provide a clean interface with easy access to all the necessary functions — namely mute, pause, leave call and screen sharing, which is currently supported in Chrome only.

Then there’s the cool little extras, like the fact that you can play Rocket Lander in your WebRTC session while you wait for people to join, or the informative “Is WebRTC Ready Yet” page that offers a pretty accurate idea of WebRTC browser compatibility at a glance. The result is a pleasing experience that is sure to capture a lot of interest.

Want to learn more about the latest in WebRTC? Be sure to attend WebRTC Conference & Expo, Nov. 19-21 in Santa Clara, Calif. Stay in touch with everything happening at WebRTC Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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