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Why now is the time for WebRTC

April 28, 2018 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Computerworld

Utilized by billions of users and thousands of applications, this open-source technology has finally become the new standard for real-time communications over the web.

More than six years ago an ambitious, real-time communications project was spearheaded by Google. What emerged was a powerful, open-source tool capable of equipping web browsers with the ability to support voice and video conferencing and data sharing.

Aptly named WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), this collection of protocols and interfaces enabled audio and video setup over peer-to-peer connections without the need for expensive or complex back-end software. Most appealing, WebRTC made it possible to deploy click-to-start meetings without downloading a dedicated app or plug-in.

Despite this, WebRTC faced hurdles in the early years, including battles over which standards and codecs would be implemented and a lack of support from major browsers and legacy communications providers. But now we've reached a tipping point--more than three billion dollars of investment involved--WebRTC is finally starting to see critical adoption.

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