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January 09, 2014

Is 2014 the Year for WebRTC Video Conferencing?

Video conferencing is a tool that most businesses have adopted in order to hold face-to-face meetings over long distances for internal collaboration, international trade brokering and more.

Currently, there are two major iterations of the video conferencing experience: one where companies have a dedicated video conference room with extensive systems, and one that favors easy-to-deploy desktop conferencing with enhanced features supported by the cloud. The emerging WebRTC works to simplify the video conference process even further, which could make the second option even more popular.

WebRTC is a software application that solves incompatibilities between different platforms for real-time video communications. Between desktops, smartphones, tablets and laptops, there are multiple formats for video communication, and they rarely play nicely with others.

WebRTC instead aims for browser-to-browser communication, with no need for either party to download compatibility software. This standardized audio/video communication package is gaining popularity, and the fact that it is browser-based means that almost any device supports it.

Rich Costello, a senior research analyst for Unified Communications, firmly believes that video use will worm its way into more companies and enterprises this year as users grow more comfortable with WebRTC technology. “WebRTC has the potential to be pretty disruptive to the status quo within the video conferencing space this year,” he says, noting that the easy-to-use program makes video communications a no-brainer for companies.

Costello does not predict that video calls will become the primary weapon of choice for communication, but he does say that WebRTC will make their use more widespread. WebRTC grants a host of unique advantages, chief amongst which is the fact that it is free to use. This simple fact, combined with the fact that it is browser-based and has very low hardware requirements, means that even the lowliest of startups will have access to video-conferences if they desire them. According to Costello, “I think we'll se a lot of growth in vertical deployments for video, and that will help compel users to get on board and push video use in 2014.”

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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