The Wonderful World of WebRTC

By Samantha Mack

Ever heard of WebRTC? WebRTC, or Web Real Time Communication, provides browsers and mobile applications the ability to enable real-time communication, creating peer to peer connections. In simpler terms, WebRTC allows people to communicate via the Internet using a browser. WebRTC is encompassing the technology world; launched by Google in 2011, companies like INNITEL are now using WebRTC to communicate data efficiently all over the web. The technology has grown faster than any other Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology in the last five years, surpassing Skype and RCS.

So, why all the hype? WebRTC not only facilitates VOIP between consumers and enterprises, but it allows for the easy access of web based softphones, cloud based communications, and app usage. There’s a high chance you were on the new app HouseParty today, a mobile video calling application that yields 60 million active viewers. What about Facebook Messenger, that has 245 million people making video calls each month? Or Snapchat? Every time you send a snap using the beloved dog filter and in response your friend video calls you, you are also using WebRTC. Who knew that this technology was integrated so well into your daily life?

Google’s recent study revealed that there are two billion Chrome browsers with WebRTC, 1200 WebRTC-based companies and projects, and over five billion mobile app downloads using WebRTC. With easy access to the technology, the world of WebRTC is wonderful.

However, does this sound too good to be true? Is a technology that allows for calling using a simple browser, creating easy, global communication opportunities viable? Well, there are some minor flaws to WebRTC. Interoperability may surpass other business priorities as executives focus on running their business smoothly by integrating WebRTC. Furthermore, WebRTC is enabling communication without software installation: most mobile applications need software, and 89% of mobile data consumption is from app usage. Furthermore, imperfections still remain in the Apple and Microsoft systems. Apple requires its own web engine to create a web browser, and it does not support WebRTC. Thus, developers must build alternative applications for iOS support. Security is also an issue, as some worry that their IP addresses can be easily revealed. Despite these flaws, WebRTC is advancing technology industries worldwide, specifically the telecommunication industry, as systems become easier to operate.

WebRTC conferences have emerged worldwide to teach businesses about the cutting-edge technology. The 2017 New York City WebRTC summit to be held from June 6-8th will teach attendees to build WebRTC applications and will provide critical information on the development of WebRTC. Participants will learn about voice calling, video chat, and P2P file sharing from leaders in the WebRTC industry. The goal of the summit is to expose WebRTC’s potential power that can benefit the technology industry, and how simply WebRTC can be implemented. By educating those oblivious to the wonders of WebRTC, WebRTC will expand even more rapidly.

People who learn about the advantages of WebRTC now are the future generations that have the ability to change the tech world. What’s in WebRTC’s future? Easy communication has the potential to create a prosumer model, meaning that applications not used for enterprises will begin to swarm the workplace. However, “prosumer” is a double entendre; as more applications are developed over WebRTC, consumers can become the producers, facilitating business’ successes as these customers create their own customized products using voice calling and video chat. For example, consider fantasy baseball. Fantasy baseball is a prosumer product, as participants create their own team for entertainment, and the business benefits. Consumers are simultaneously the producers. Furthermore, WebRTC will become integrated into more applications and developments as its features are publicized.

The potential for WebRTC is endless. Following recent trends, more applications, search engines, and other technologies are likely to shift to using WebRTC. Chad Hart, head of strategic products at Voxbone, stated the following: “WebRTC truly is moving beyond the term du-jour to an indispensable technology powering today’s hottest communications applications. It is well on its way to being a technology you can explain to your friends and family via the many apps they use all the time.” As WebRTC becomes regularly integrated into our lives, communication will become close to effortless. And INNITEL is following this trajectory.