Real Time Communications Featured Article

Anything is Possible for the Future of WebRTC

November 20, 2014

WebRTC is one of the fastest-growing technologies in the communications market. It has the power to place voice and video in the hands of individual developers. In turn, those developers can create for their own businesses, or a whole class of businesses, applications providing enterprise-grade technologies and that operate through their Web browsers. Developed by Google in 2011, the APIs that enable these sorts of communications spread beyond the initial project like wildfire and began to jump on board a whole host of software. It is no surprise that Chrome has natively supported WebRTC from the start. In addition to Google's flagship browser, though, Firefox and Opera have also been on board for some time.

The only holdouts appear to be Internet Explorer and Safari. Some have speculated that Microsoft had not supported the new protocol in favor of pushing its own technology through Skype, but Microsoft has since come around and, TMC reports, has begun build into IE the capability for real-time communications of this sort. Still apparently holding strong on the other side, Safari continues to only gain WebRTC support through plug-ins.

What will things look like 10 years from now? Reports have suggested that over-the-top communications services could put up a contentious fight against telecoms by placing communications directly in the hands of businesses. If OTT providers can make their services easy to use, businesses that desire a universal experience across desktops and mobile could simply make their Web browsers the avenue of choice. With cloud-based support for handling data loads, browsers will work in any location on any device.

The exact future of WebRTC technology is unknown. It may evolve and adopt additional communications capabilities. For now, though, its ability to provide voice and video -- and for businesses, its ability to make way for conferencing – have already helped to take it very far. There is no doubt that it will still be present in 10 years and perhaps the only worthwhile questions surrounding concerns include the future of telecoms and the role of businesses in handling their own communications services.

This week, WebRTC Conference & Expo in San Jose Calif. highlighted numerous topics related to WebRTC – both the current market, and its future potential. Topics including Protecting Yourself in a WebRTC World, Open Source Options and M2M Applications for WebRTC will be discussed during today’s panel sessions.   Stay in touch with everything happening at the event -- follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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