WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is an API (Application programming interface) definition drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that supports browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video chat, and P2P file sharing without the need of either internal or external plugins.
It enables all kinds of real time communication such as audio, video and text between users by utilising browser software. Using WebRTC bears different benefits for different market segments. For end users it has two major advantages:
- Ease of use: Real-time communication is supported without the need for additional applications or plug-ins.
- Security: WebRTC enforces the usage of encryption for both the media and the signalling. Thereby, WebRTC provides a higher security level than most currently available commercial telephony systems.
The protocol is expected to dominate the way telecoms develops during 2015 and various articles have been written across the internet which examine the evidence for making such a definitive claim.
Amir Zmora, writing on The New Dial Tone, said the importance of WebRTC was in knowing where it was being used and he highlights a number of key services which are using the protocol including:
- Google+ Hangouts is using WebRTC
- Snapchat is using WebRTC for its voice chat
- Vonage took parts of WebRTC, added codecs and some logic and built their mobile applications with it
- Amazon apparently used the video parts of WebRTC for their Mayday button
He continues: “Since most of those using WebRTC in mass deployment are islands and WebRTC is behind the scenes does it matter at all?”
Yes, he says, for various reasons but mostly because usage of WebRTC by masses of users has impact on all of us in two ways:
- From a technology standpoint, the more WebRTC is used, even as technology components torn from it, it increases the maturity of the implementation. It is used in more use cases, problems are found and fixed.
- From a compatibility and interoperability standpoint, being used in browser based implementations increases the pressure on browser vendors to support WebRTC and adhere to the standards.
He adds: “WebRTC is massively used in consumer OTT such as Hangouts and SnapChat. The most significant usage of WebRTC for consumer OTT in 2015 will come from WhatsApp, assuming they start providing voice calling services.
“On the B2B and B2C side, Amazon Mayday Button is a great example of a paradigm change in the Contact Centre where conflict is between self-service (don’t call us) approach, to enhanced engagement. What I’m really looking forward to see is what rabbit Microsoft will pull out of their hat with Skype for business as this has the potential to be the #1 use case for 2015.”
Zmora’s viewpoint is corroborated by Alan Quayle writing on his own self-titled website. In answer to the question – Which use cases for WebRTC will dominate in 2015? – he says: “The flippant answer is Google, through Hangouts, Chromecast and all the other projects they have using or planning to use WebRTC in 2015.”
“But the more interesting answer is within businesses. I point to this case study of a ‘WebRTC Powered Travel Agency’ presented by Yvan Wibaux, Co-Founder & CTO Evaneos, and Luis Quina Borges, Co-founder & CEO Apidaze, at TADSummit.
“A nice quote from Yvan is: ‘the power of communications to revolutionize the travel business.’ The dominant use case in 2015 from a business impact perspective will be businesses transforming their operations with WebRTC to reduce human latency and improve communications associated with specific business processes,” he adds.
For Dean Bubley, writing on Disruptive Analysis, the key 2015 use-cases for WebRTC will be for enterprise B2C customer support, small workgroup collaboration/conferencing and consumer in-app video chat.
“B2C will involve WebRTC on the agent side (primarily on desktops specified by the IT function with suitable browsers), and to some degree among customers – although mostly via dedicated mobile apps, rather than ‘click-to-call’ in a browser.
“Collaboration software will come in various sub-types, including screen-sharing and voice/video connectivity, targeting both general small teams, and specific verticals like software developers.
“Consumer embedded video-chat is evolving rapidly too, starting from social/messaging apps – both on desktop (eg Facebook) and mobile (eg SnapChat) – and likely extending to other areas such as gaming progressively,” he adds.
For more viewpoints and articles visit the Upperside Conferences blog here: http://blog.uppersideconferences.com/use-cases-webrtc-will-dominate-2015/#.VS5PJPnF-Sq
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