Most of you probably remember the Hello Chrome, it’s Firefox calling! video where a video chat call was made from Firefox browser to a Chrome browser without any additional addons or software installed. Right up until that moment video chat was commonly done through Skype, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime, all of which required software, add-ons, and registration. Just a few months ago Firefox and Chrome started supporting the technology called WebRTC which stands for Real-Time Communications Technology and is responsible for that video chat call from Firefox to Chrome.
Since then, hundreds of companies and startups have sprung up building API services and real-time communication products based on WebRTC technology. Tsashi Levent-Levi, who is a WebRTC evangelist, has been interviewing most of these companies on his blog: The list is quite impressive!
Much like most of early adopters we at Fresh Tilled Soil have been playing around with WebRTC for quite awhile now. We have recently unveiled our own WebRTC video chat demo which allows anybody to have a video chat right from the browser without any plugins or additional software. You can see it in action in the video below:
We also just released WebRTC video chat widgets which allow anybody to embed the capability of video chat right into their website without any plugins just by grabbing a quick embed code. You can give this a try on our demo page.
How WebRTC Is Transforming Communications
WebRTC is built right into the web browser and allows any developer to build video, audio or data communication applications that can run from any website and be used by any website visitor using a standard website browser without any need for Flash or Java addons and plugins. Never before has this been possible.
The formal WebRTC support by Firefox and Chrome began only this year yet we’ve seen hundreds of companies already working on products based on this technology. Anything from an API service for WebRTC communication, to video chat through Twitter, to real time video chat and collaboration as you code the number of ideas for startups based on this technology is infinite.
The effect of WebRTC on communications might be as game changing as the creation of different web browsers have been for the web. Real time communication can now be embedded into your website and apps which gives businesses many new ways to communicate with their customers, employees and other companies. In the next few years we will probably see a lot more communication transition from phone, Skype, and other forms to WebRTC right on the websites and apps.
Dmitry Dragilev is a Tech Evangelist at Fresh Tilled Soil, (http://www.freshtilledsoil.com/) a team of designers, coders, and UX experts that helps entrepreneurs and businesses create bloody brilliant user experiences for web and mobile applications through consulting, training, and events. Since 2005 they’ve helped over 300 clients — including General Electric, Microsoft, MIT, Harvard, TEDx, Time Warner Cable, Walgreens, Hubspot and many others.