The world of video conferencing seems to be on an ever-changing course, twisting and turning to adapt to new trends and technologies as soon as they become available. One such trend is WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), which can enable browser-to-browser applications for video calling.
Why should I care about WebRTC?
Even though video communications is booming in popularity, it still has not become ubiquitous. To date, you still need a software client or browser plug-in in order to make video calls from your computer, tablet or smartphone. Though this process is getting simpler every day, WebRTC would allow for a click-to-chat application on PC and Mac internet browsers– which could make video communication easier (and more accessible) than ever before. Imagine opening Google Chrome and being able to make a high-definition video call to anyone in the world with the touch of a button without installing any additional software.
How could it be used?
With some creative thinking, WebRTC could revolutionize the way business is conducted in a number of industries. Imagine making a customer service call to your bank, and being connected face to face with a representative instead of just a voice over the phone. It could change the way social media is consumed (Instagram video and apps like Vine and Keek are already showing us the power of video in the social world), and QR codes could link you to a live sales representative, instead of a webpage. Not to mention, WebRTC could help your company become more productive and efficient with real-time document collaboration and in-person meetings, rather than endless email strings and dreaded audio conferences.
But, where is WebRTC? What’s the holdup?
The good news is that the pioneers of the tech world are getting closer and closer to bringing a viable, high-quality WebRTC platform to life. However, many are skeptical of the hype around this new solution. Here’s a great article from Dave Michels that offers some solid arguments.
Dave suggests that WebRTC still has a long way to go if it is ever to become a successful platform for communication. He believes that a ubiquitous standard needs to be approved in order for WebRTC to become truly widespread, and this standard won’t be approved anytime soon due to disagreements among key committee members and vendors. He also believes that WebRTC does not deliver any unique functionality, as there are a number of other real-time communication solutions on the market that can already do what this new technology is promising. It is purely the ubiquity of the technology embedded in a web browser that will be of value. Read more of Dave’s thoughts here.