What is WebRTC and What is it Good For? This 7-minute video provides a quick introduction to WebRTC and demonstrates why it is growing in importance and popularity.
Covered in this video:
- What is WebRTC?
- Current state of adoption of WebRTC
- Why is it so much more than just a video chat enabler
- The power of “Open Source” in WebRTC
- How WebRTC works
- Five reasons to choose WebRTC
What is WebRTC?
WebRTC is an HTML5 specification that you can use to add real time media communications directly between browser and devices.
WebRTC enables for voices and video communication to work inside web pages.
And you can do that without the need of any prerequisite of plugins to be installed in the browser.
WebRTC was announced in 2011 and since then it has steadily grown in popularity and adoption.
By 2016 there has been an estimate from 2 billion browsers installed that are enabled to work with WebRTC. From traffic perspective, WebRTC has seen an estimate of over a billion minutes and 500 terabytes of data transmitted every week from browser communications alone. Today, WebRTC is widely popular for video calling but it is capable of so much more.
A few things worth mentioning:
- WebRTC is also completely free
- It comes as open source project that has been embedded in browsers but you can take and adopt it for your own needs
- This in turn has created a vibrant and dynamic ecosystem around WebRTC of a variety of open source projects and frameworks as well as commercial offerings from companies that help you to build your products
- WebRTC constantly evolving and improving, so you need to keep an eye on it
So, how does WebRTC work?
Code and API
It is important to understand from where we are coming from: If you wanted to build anything that allowed for voice or video calling a few years ago, you were most probably used C/C++ for that. This means long development cycles and higher development costs.
WebRTC today is available in most modern browsers. Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge support it already, while Apple is rumored to be in the process of adding WebRTC to Safari.
You can also take WebRTC and embed it into an application without the need of browser at all.
Media and access
What WebRTC does is allow the access to devices. You can access the microphone of your device, the camera that you have on your phone or laptop – or it can be a screen itself. You can capture the screen of the user and then have that screen shared or recorded remotely.
Whatever WebRTC does that does in the real time, enabling live interactions.
WebRTC isn’t limited to voice and video. It allows sending any type of data any arbitrary data
There are several reasons WebRTC is a great choice for real time communications
- First of all, WebRTC is an open source project
- It is completely free for commercial or private use, so why not use it?
- Since it is constantly evolving and improving, you are banking on a technology that would service you for years to come
- WebRTC is a pretty solid choice – It already created a vibrant ecosystem around it of different vendors and companies that can assist you with your application
- WebRTC today is available in browsers and most modern browsers today support it
- This has enabled and empowered the creation of new cases and business models
- From taking a Guitar or a Yoga lesson – to medical clowns or group therapy – to hosting large scale professional Webinars. WebRTC is capable of serving all of them and more
- WebRTC not limited to only browsers because it is also available for mobile applications
- The source code is portable and has been used already in a lot of mobile apps
- SDKS are available for both mobile and embedded environments so you can use WebRTC to run anywhere
- WebRTC is not only about for voice or video calling
- It ss quite powerful and versatile
- You can use it to build group calling service, add recording to it or use it only for data delivery
- It is up to you to decide what to do with WebRTC
- WebRTC takes the notion of communication service and downgrades it into a feature inside a different type of service. So now you can take WebRTC and simply add communication in business processes you need within your application or business
So what other choice do you really have besides using WebRTC?
The idea around WebRTC and what you can use it for are limitless. So go on start building whatever you need and use WebRTC for that.