Real Time Communications Featured Article

The Role of Video in Real-Time Communications Should not be Overlooked

June 17, 2014

One need only look at a smartphone or Apple TV to begin to understand the increasingly important role video plays in business and consumer interaction. More than just video snippets that accompany vacation photos and funny cat videos online, the explosion of devices and services that leverage video is changing how business is done.




Real-time communications is about more than just video, but video plays an important role with real-time communications. Vendors are working on making video calling ubiquitous and simple, and increasing what can be done with video after a call.

The shaping of WebRTC as a turnkey way to communicate via video is dramatically expanding the reach of real-time communications. Google and Vidyo recently announced that they are partnering on a project to deliver SVC and VP9 via WebRTC, and interoperability groups are starting to focus on WebRTC and codec support.

The traditional challenge of video—getting the codec right on both sides—is still an issue for WebRTC, which is why RealTimeCommunications’s WebRTC Conference & Expo in Atlanta this week has an eagerly anticipated session on WebRTC and codec support.

But even while codecs are being hammered out, WebRTC today makes video communication dramatically easier. Vyopta announced this week that it is teaming up with Pexip to expand Vyopta’s video customer engagement solution by leveraging WebRTC, for instance.

What can be done with video after video calls also is increasing, and vendors are trying to take advantage of the new medium and its opportunities in analytics.

Panopto, for instance, has a speech recognition system with time stamps that enables real-time video search capabilities. It currently boasts between 70 and 75 percent accuracy in picking dialogue out of video, and it also uses optical character recognition to pull Powerpoint and signage info that might exist within a video.

With more robust search, video calls with customers or among business partners can be mined for analytical purposes.

Real-time communications also is starting to get beyond its peer-to-peer roots, and vendors are scaling WebRTC from one-to-one communications to one-to-many. The WebRTC Conference this week also had a session on managing and scaling WebRTC video, showing how WebRTC can scale to many end points and manage codec differences and devices that can only receive a single video stream.

As communications continue to converge, video is at the heart of real-time communications and its applications are still not yet fully realized.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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