WebRTC Will Change the Way People Communicate Online, Use Web

Hands typing on the laptop
The next innovation in video, voice, and file collaboration is upon us. Pretty soon, Internet users will be able to communicate and send video, audio, and document files simply by using their web browser.

According to techradar.com, Web Real-Time Communications (or WebRTC) will bring instant, real-time communication to millions of people without the use of third-party apps or plug-ins. By simply using your web browser, which is one of the most widely used apps in the world, you will be able to enjoy high quality video and audio communication as well as real-time data transfer. WebRTC is set to change the way people use web browsers and exchange information on a massive scale.

With W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) drafting it and IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) writing the protocol work, WebRTC will simplify real-time communication. Apps such as Skype and FaceTime may become obsolete as web browsers replace their main functions.

Until recently, real-time communication are only provided by clients that often come with large software sizes and download times. In addition, the security features of these clients can be very limiting and confusing. Some organizations, for example, will shut down downloading features of these clients for security reasons.

WebRTC is composed of many programs and protocols that are designed to fit into any web browser. It uses three main JavaScript APIs: getUserMedia, RTCPeerConnection and RTCDataChannel. WEbRTC also employs mesh-based technology that allows users to send and receive independent streams to and from each other, freeing up space on the bandwidth and making for smooth, high-quality, instant communication.

There are, however, some complications that come with a mesh-tech program. One of them is bandwidth insufficiency. The more participants in a call, the more swamped the bandwidth could become. This, in turn, can lead to poor quality and even the dropping of the call.

There are also issues with WebRTC’s ability to connect, disconnect, and identify different users. Because WebRTC is still in development, some of these features aren’t quite ready to handle multiple users.

Still, WebRTC has many benefits, probably one of the most impressive being its security features. WEbRTC uses SRTP (Secure Real-time Transport Protocol) in general and DTLS (Datagram Transport Layer Security) to exchange encryption keys. The technology will also prompt the user to allow access to local programs and equipment such as cameras and microphones.

The security is similar to SFTP. SFTP stands for “Secure File Transfer Protocol.” The Secure File Transfer Protocol ensures that data is securely transferred using a private and safe data stream.

WebRTC is gaining attention in part because of what it means for other industries. In particular, it can change the medical, business, and education fields forever.

For business purposes, WebRTC can be used by companies to provide better (and more direct) customer service. Some companies already have chat features available on their websites. WebRTC would provide the same except that instead of merely “chatting” with a customer service representative, users can talk or videoconference with customer service in real time. This can potentially save a lot of time, effort, resources, and hassles for both the business and the consumer.

Medicine also stands to change with WebRTC. Doctors and medical professionals can use the technology to communicate with patients without having to meet with them in person. Especially for procedures that don’t necessarily require a doctor’s physical presence (such as recovery from a procedure or a non-invasive treatment), WebRTC can provide a means of efficient, cost-effective communication between patient and doctor.

WebRTC can even have applications for government and educational services. Instead of having to go to the town courthouse for information, for example, a person can simply use WebRTC technology to ask a government official what he or she wants to know, and can potentially receive files in the same conversation. Teachers and tutors can instruct online classes and share documents, including homework assignments and reading material, without having to use complicated applications.

Though most devices on the market today aren’t quite ready to use WebRTC, future-generation devices such as computers, mobile phones, and tablets may be designed to accommodate WebRTC technology. In general, devices will need to have higher processing power built-in in order to effectively accommodate the technology.

Still, until that time, WebRTC will most likely be primarily used by the aforementioned fields or users that have devices made in the past two years — some of which may work. Regardless, WebRTC, if properly and widely implemented, will revolutionize the way people communicate with each other.

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