WebRTC World Feature Article

December 05, 2013

Understanding WebRTC Capabilities


WebRTC is one of the latest and most significant developments in the world of real-time communications. This is a part of HTML5 and is supported by most modern Web browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, today. Using WebRTC, businesses, Web marketers and Internet users can communicate with others in real-time without installing a plug-in. Introduced by W3C, WebRTC is a simple and reliable way to communicate over the Web.

There is a lot of hype surrounding WebRTC, but along with it comes many misconceptions. Therefore, it is a good idea for users to know more WebRTC, what it can and cannot do in order to make the best use of it.

Easier for Developers

WebRTC makes it easy for developers to integrate real-time communication with a few simple JavaScript API calls. WebRTC has three APIs: GetUserMedia for access to the users' camera and microphone, PeerConnection to send and receive media and DataChannels for sending non-media information between browsers. Developers can integrate these APIs in their applications.

Plugin-Free

Users do not have to download or install a plugin for communication over the Internet. This is a big draw for WebRTC because it makes it that much easier for any user to communicate over a browser.

Not a Good Choice for Signaling

There is some debate going about the efficiency of using WebSockets and WebRTC in an application. While WebRTC is designed to provide high-performance and quality of communication, it is not the right choice for applications that need bi-directional communication and signaling. In WebRTC, signaling takes place only once to create a connection after which media is streamed directly between clients without an intermediary. Therefore, for applications that rely on extensive signaling and constant communication between the server and the client, WebSockets might be a better choice.

Will Not Kill Existing Technologies

A lot has been talked about how WebRTC will “kill” existing products like Skype. This is not necessarily true because WebRTC is simply a technology that gives developers a chance to create more innovative products.

WebRTC is a great choice for customer-facing applications that need real-time communication.


Edited by Rachel Ramsey




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