WebRTC: Importance

Eric Rescoria writes:

WebRTC isn’t a complete videoconferencing system; it’s a set of tools built in to the browser that take care of many of the hard pieces of building a VC (videoconferencing) system so that you don’t have to….Importantly, this functionality is all standardized: the API itself was published and by the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) and the network protocols (encryption, compression, NAT traversal, etc.) were standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The result is a giant pile of specifications, including the API specification, the protocol for negotiating what media will be sent or received, and a mechanism for sending peer-to-peer data. All in all, this represents a huge amount of work by too many people to count spanning a decade and resulting in hundreds of pages of specifications.

The result is that it’s possible to build a VC system that will work for everyone right in their browser and without them having to install any software

This is an incredible feat of achievement. I understand that most users won’t even know that Firefox was amongst the first browser to moot this specification. The ill fated Firefox OS was more of a marketing disaster than a technical failure. I don’t know who pulled out the rug under its feet. However, the world has moved on to (and based on limited understanding) of requirement for the mobile applications for everything under the sun- whereas they can easily access the same in a browser.

You don’t need a zoom app (and they can build the services right inside the browser) if they open up the API’s. However, the tendency of the users to avoid efficient workflows is in direct correlation with their inclination to pay for the software.