WebRTC Coming to a Browser Near You

Unified communications is branching out extensively and before long will be embedded in just about every new Web application. What this means for end users is that existing Web applications will soon begin to appear outmoded. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is currently ironing out the details for WebRTC specs that will allow a real-time communication engine right in your browser. Chrome and Firefox browsers are already equipped with WebRTC, but once the W3C gives its approval, WebRTC will become a must for all browsers. This is important for developers because they will be able to support WebRTC running directly in the browser rather than having to develop specific code in order to take advantage of unified communications (UC) features in each network device.

WebRTC is the hot topic for Atlanta's upcoming WebRTC Conference and Expo event in June 2013. Many developers are already ramping up for the forthcoming changes. Tadiran Telecom plans to add WebRTC support to Aeonix unified communications platform that runs on top of x86 servers. According to Tadiran's president of engineering, Lindsay Kinter, UC that is software-driven makes implementation simpler and less expensive.

Application development platform providers are also paying attention. Plivo, a provider of platform-as-service (PaaS) solutions for cloud-based UC applications foresees a future in which these applications become universally accessible. According to Mike Lauricella, head of business development for Plivo, the most promising aspect of WebRTC is that it will phase out the need for clients to access communications services.

Many industry experts think that WebRTC will inspire a whole new range of UC service providers. Unified Office, a business phone and IT service for multiple mobile devices, offers communication apps specifically aimed at small-to-medium businesses wanting to make to most of unified communications without having to purchase complex and expensive infrastructure. Unified Office CEO Ray Pasquale says that we are about to see the evolution of more flexible service providers who have the ability to utilize HTML5, WebRTC, and SIP to develop UC applications that are fully customizable.

WebRTC is clearly gaining momentum and seems to have the ability to live up to the Web 2.0 promise that app developers have as yet been unable to deliver. Meanwhile, those developers who are currently designing Web apps may want to consider whether applications that do not support the latest in WebRTC technology really have any potential. (CU) Link


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