WEBRTC ON THE RISE
The Next Generation of Communication
Web RTC – An incredibly ground breaking technology that functions in symphony with other technologies and protocols.Voice and video chat between peers is the primary function of this protocol. The WebRTC is an initiative supported by industry stalwarts such as Google,Opera, Mozilla amongst others. Imagine if it was real easy to add video chat and peer-to-peer data sharing to your web application – without downloading any plugins! That’s the vision of WebRTC.
In order to be able to understand this concept and appreciate it better, let us start from the basics. Despite the potential for utilisation in several aspects, peer to peer communication remains the primary objective of WebRTC.
Let us consider an example, when we visit a website, we either click on a certain link or type in the web address. This triggers a request sent to the host server which combines all the scattered data/assets and then displays it in the form of a webpage. The simple logic here is that we send a request to a known and locatable server to get the response. This is the case of websites where requesting and receiving responses is involved. However, if I wish to have a video conference with a friend, the physics of the web change drastically. My friend’s computer is not a server so as to respond satisfactorily to requests. What is the solution then? The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) comes to rescue and saves the day. This signalling protocol along with the aid of a Session Description Protocol (SDP) is utilized in WebRTC. The metadata relevant to multimedia is passed through the SDP protocol.
Through a series of interactions between the peers’ public facing IP addresses and signalling data channels, back end peer to peer negotiations and sessions are established. When two or more peers are connected to the same channel, communication and negotiation of session information is enabled.
To explain this further, the peer, that initiates, actually sends an offer with the aid of SIP and
SDP. The peer then awaits a response from any receivers that are connected to the channel. Once the answer is received, a complex technical procedure follows which results in the complete establishment and activation of the network socket session between peers. After the creation of data channel endpoints and local data streams, multimedia data is finally transmitted between the peers with the aid of the relevant communications technology used.
What’s the need for WebRTC?
WebRTC is an open source technology that provides Real-Time Communications (RTC)
capabilities to best serve real-time, plugin-free video, audio and data communication. There are many reasons why the need is real:
- Though many use RTC already, there is a need to downloads, native apps or plugins such as Skype, Facebook (which uses Skype) and Google Hangouts (which use the Google Talk plugin).
- Downloading, installing and updating plugins is usually more complex, and many people get confused to deploy, debug, troubleshoot, test and maintain.
- Also, integration with other applications via simple, standardized web APIs or browsers is difficult and sometimes may require purchasing license.
All these reasons are a considerable problems to the goal of achieving real-time communication. Hence, WebRTC is the technology that was in place to make these all possible. Open source, free, standardized, built into web browsers and more efficient than existing technologies is what makes WebRTC prominent to choose.
How WebRTC is better than others?
The quality of WebRTC videos is clearly better than those of Flash. Enabling more effortless
and near flawless virtual conversations, WebRTC offers significant improvements in latency. By eliminating the reliance on downloading proprietary softwares and creating accounts, WebRTC solves the prevalent problem of real time communications incompatibilities. By facilitating browser-to-browser communication, WebRTC capitalizes on the trend of a browser behaving as an application.
Businesses using WebRTC:
Businesses that utilize the WebRTC are providing personalized solutions to customers across the world by enabling direct hassle-free video conferences between clients and service providers seamlessly. WebRTC is also foraying into the field of robotics where a robot’s “eye”, the camera, is integrated with this technology which streams live video to users effectively. Fluke, a mobile field service app leveraging the ShareLive video call feature with the aid of WebRTC, enables teams across different locations to stay on the same page so that what is seen by one is also seen by all. Chegg Tutors,are another in a line of WebRTC beneficiaries that are leveraging the concept to offer online expert tutorials to those who need help in a certain area of academics. By enabling video conferencing, file sharing and file uploading, Chegg Tutors has utilized the WebRTC and witnessed its manifold benefits.
These are only a few names that have been mentioned here. There are many more businesses that are resorting to WebRTC due to the ubiquitous positive effects. It can therefore be said with the utmost certainty that WebRTC is not just on the rise but on the path of transforming real time communications.