Q

When should you deploy a WebRTC application?

WebRTC is well on its way to becoming a UC standard, but when should you consider deploying a WebRTC application?

It sounds like WebRTC is going to solve every collaboration issue by making voice, video and collaboration applications as easy to launch as a browser. But when might this be a reality? I don't want to invest in a video-conferencing system, for example, if a WebRTC application is right around the corner.

Who knows? The standards-making process doesn't really adhere to a timeline. The intent and the expectation were that the WebRTC standard would be further along by now, but a few contentious issues are slowing things down. I'd like to address two assumptions within your question, however.

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First, the assumption is that you have to wait for the standard -- that's incorrect. WebRTC is alive and well, and we are seeing new products introduced regularly. The previous most popular "standard" for video within a Web browser was Adobe Flash, and it was never a standard. Both the FireFox and Chrome browsers already support a pre-standard and compatible implementation of WebRTC. Combined with available applications, some benefits of WebRTC can be realized today.

Your second assumption is that WebRTC and video-conferencing systems are interchangeable. They are not. WebRTC is a group of technologies; the latter is a product or application. It seems as though you are looking for a video-conferencing product that does or will support a WebRTC application. If that's the case, you are in luck because many vendors have already indicated their intent to deliver this. There are a lot of different components to a video-conferencing product, only a few of which intersect with WebRTC.

Read more about WebRTC applications:

 

This was first published in March 2014

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