Is WebRTC the Future of Video Conferencing? - Gruveo

Is WebRTC the Future of Video Conferencing?

webrtc-logo-vert-retro-255x305WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) is an open source technology which allows two browsers to connect natively for peer-to-peer video and audio calls. Calling is possible without needing to download any additional software or install plugins…straight from your browser!

Where did WebRTC come from? In May 2011 an open source project was released by Google. With massive help from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) there was ongoing work to standardize protocols and improve browser APIs.                                               Progress is still being made today.

The fact that WebRTC offers JavaScript APIs means it can be fully integrated into web apps, enabling a variety of functionalities to be possible. WebRTC can also be used on mobile devices, either via an app or directly via the browser on Android phones.

So how does it work? WebRTC works peer-to-peer, meaning that it isn’t necessary for the signal to be relayed via a server. Call quality is often far superior to some previous solutions, where servers can be positioned in far-flung locations, leading to lag. WebRTC providers package this technology into easy-to-use systems which intelligently determine how to best stream (and relay, if necessary) the media from one user to the other, optimizing call quality and limiting latency.

There are several key benefits of using WebRTC over previous solutions for video conferencing:

Security

A rising concern in business, a high level of security is often top of the list when IT departments are considering new software. In WebRTC it is impossible to have an unencrypted call. Even if a TURN server is required to relay the media stream, calls still remain encrypted end-to-end.

If an even higher level of control is required it is also possible to have a system using WebRTC installed directly on the company servers, operating within your own firewall. This enables both security and ease of use within a company and is ideal if you operate from more than one site.

Improved Call Quality

As discussed before, you will probably find the call quality with a WebRTC-based platform superior, especially if you are calling a location not very geographically far away. This is because peer-to-peer technology operates directly from your computer or phone to the person you are calling. If there are any problems relaying the call, that’s when the TURN servers spring into action. Due to providers often having numerous servers in different locations around the world, call quality is generally well maintained.

Ease of Use

If you have ever used a WebRTC-based app, one thing you may notice is how surprisingly easy it is to use. You don’t need to install anything…you can use it straight out the box. And it can be as simple as pressing the call button and sending a link or code over to the other party for almost instant video conferencing.

This ease of use makes WebRTC perfect for the workplace, general calls with technophobic friends and family, or integrating into a website for easy use for customers or clients.

Versatility

Due to the benefits and ease of use, there are many situations where a WebRTC-based app is the perfect solution for a company:

Example 1: Intra-Company Video Conferencing

I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of video conferencing. WebRTC is unlike many previous solutions as no installs are required. This makes video calling both easily accessible and universally available for your co-workers.

A WebRTC-based app can be installed on your company intranet. This allows instant calls within a company and is perfect for departments such as HR to easily chat to colleagues, especially those at different sites.

Example 2: Talk to Customers via Your Webpage

A WebRTC app can also be used directly from your company website. This is a great customer service solution and more personable than a phone call. If you need to talk to external clients it’s also a professional way to host a video call, especially if the app can be company branded.

Example 3: Video Conferencing On the Go

As more and more companies operate with staff in the field or based at home, video conferencing is a great way for teams to keep in touch. WebRTC-based apps can be used via 3G networks on tablets and smartphones for access wherever you go.

So is WebRTC the future of video conferencing? With all the benefits of this technology it certainly seems that way. It is predicted that it will be available on 6 billion devices by the end of 2019, so chances are you are going to be hearing a lot about WebRTC over the next few years. With the variety of ways this technology can be utilized it is quite certain that video conferencing will be used even more extensively in companies all over the world.

Gruveo Business uses WebRTC technology to deliver the ideal solution for video conferencing. Want to find out more? Visit our Business site here.