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October 11, 2014

WebRTC World Week in Review: Coming to a Browser Near You

Web-based real time communications, typically shortened to WebRTC, are considered by several industry experts to be the next big thing in telecommunications. Not only do WebRTC protocols enable users to connect face-to-face for video chats, but the simplicity of the technology behind it allows WebRTC to work with little more than a compatible browser, and almost zero software. This makes WebRTC both much more affordable as well as more accessible, since users will not even need to share the same browser or even computer operating system to communicate. Several developers have thus recognized the broad range of possibilities WebRTC holds for apps and business development, and the past week alone is filled with headlines on new innovations within the industry.

For example, one issue that has held the proliferation of WebRTC back for some time now is the fact that two popular browsers are incompatible with it: Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Apple's Safari. However, that problem may have been solved by Temasys Communications, who released a new plugin for the browsers that will make them compatible with WebRTC. Temasys worked with the Internet Engineering Task Force and the World Wide Web Consortium to develop this game-changing plugin, which helps make WebRTC unniversal. This will significantly increase the reach that WebRTC has for businesses, and will quickly make WebRTC a much more popular field for innovation as a result.

One service that is utilizing WebRTC as part of its business plan is Incentive, who has implemented the framework into the beta of a newly released Video Conversations feature. Businesses around the world are beginning to see the great value that real-time video communications offer, which includes lower travel fees, saves time, and improves collaboration across the board. Incentive's apps and wikis are already popular tools that businesses use for communication, so the addition of the Video Conversations feature is expected to complement that suite of tools and improve the company's image overall.

Google's Chromebooks are considered by many industry experts to be an excellent asset for WebRTC, as the inexpensive laptops provide just enough tools to support WebRTC. Chromebooks are capable of little more than operating as a platform solely for Google Chrome, but the simple truth is that a browser is all most people need for 90 percent of their computer needs today. Especially considering that WebRTC also only requires a browser to operate, and since Chrome was one of the early adopters of WebRTC, Chromebooks are a cost-effective solution for delivering an all-in-one mobile WebRTC platform in businesses.

In fact, it seems that WebRTC is quickly gaining momentum, even among those who previously held doubts. WebRTC is so simple that users can connect to videos by simply typing the video's specific URL into the browser window, which eliminates the hoops that some programs make users jump through to establish connections. Overall, it is a simpler, cheaper and easier system to use than virtually any other option.

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