By Chuck Culwell

Visit most any unified communications, collaboration, or contact center information portal today and you will find lots of discussion about Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC). There is considerable debate to the impact WebRTC may have on communications, particularly in enterprise. Many believe as the standard is finalized and adopted in coming years it can dramatically change the way consumer and enterprise users communicate with one another, customers, and business partners. So what exactly is Web Real Time Communications?

WebRTC is a working standard now under development. Specifically, it is an HTML5 open Web framework for placing real-time communications components on web pages. The framework was first developed by Global IP Solutions (GIPS), who was later acquired by Google. The standard is now being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in close cooperation with the RTCWeb standard previously developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). WebRTC is designed to solve a common problem in the world of Unified Communications – specifically incompatibilities across modes of real time communications. It does not utilize SIP or H.323 like other UC solutions. WebRTC offers the fundamental building blocks needed to enable high quality communications on the Web.

Long story short is WebRTC allows users to make voice and video calls natively from a browser. Natively means no more plug-ins. Users will not need to to download and install plug-ins that facilitate instant messaging (IM) and video chat capabilities with standard browsers, nor do they need dedicated client software. WebRTC standardizes communications between browsers supporting audio and video communications as well as data transmission links to facilitate file sharing and text chat in much simpler way. The browser themselves include all the capabilities needed to support the standard. WebRTC relies on JavaScript application programming interfaces (APIs) and HTML5 to embed these communications technologies into Web browsers in order to communicate directly with another user. Web developers can add high quality peer-to-peer voice, video, and data channel communications to their telephony, collaboration, and conferencing site or application.

Tell us about your experience with WebRTC in the comments section.