Real Time Communications Featured Article

WebRTC: Eliminating Login to Video Chat

August 11, 2015

Even when a communication service is free, more often than not, it means you and the person you want to talk to need the same application. This requires installing it on your device and logging in every time you want to use it. Until now, it is an inconvenience most of us have learned to endure, especially if the service is being offered for free. But that is no longer the case, because as long as you and the person you want to talk to have a browser enabled with WebRTC, you can start talking right away; no login and no propriety application that has to be installed on your device.

The introduction of Hello by Firefox last year marked yet another point in which WebRTC technology is made available to a wider audience.

Powered by Telefonica, a Spanish broadband and telecommunications provider with global operations, Hello is one of the easiest way to video chat with anyone no matter where they are.

It comes with the latest version of Firefox, so when you are ready to chat all you do is send the person you want to talk to a link and ask them to click it. And if they don’t have Firefox, it doesn’t matter, because all they need is a compatible browser. In addition to a WebRTC supported browser, you will need a video camera and a microphone.

While Hello does provide video chat, it is not a video conferencing solution that allows more than two people to participate. But, you can share images, files and other data while carrying out the conversation.

The one drawback of WebRTC is, Internet Explorer (now Edge) and Safari still haven’t adopted it, and since they are the properties of Microsoft and Apple, they carry a considerable weight because of the number of users their browsers command. They also happen to have their own video chat applications in Skype and FaceTime, Microsoft and Apple respectively.

Image via Shutterstock

For its part, Microsoft has said Edge, the new browser in Windows 10, will support Object RTC, a newer form of WebRTC. But Apple is not budging, at least not in public. However, there have been reports the company has joined the W3C WebRTC Working Group. We don’t exactly know what that means, but Apple might be looking to integrate what is increasingly becoming a go to application.

But, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and others as well as mobile apps support it, so there are many options available for people that really want to use WebRTC.

When WebRTC becomes available on every browser, it will be yet another evolution in how we communicate. Anyone with a smart mobile device or PC will be able to chat with another person live with video and not worry about compatibility issues; let’s hope the day gets here sooner than later.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

Article comments powered by Disqus

  Subscribe here for RTCW eNews