WebRTC is a protocol specification that uses SIP trunking to make it possible for web browsers to organically communicate with each other in real-time, without the need for user-installed plugins or applications. Since it is browser-based, WebRTC applications are more likely to leverage SIP’s multimedia and data transport functionalities.
WebRTC was initially released in 2011, and by now all the major internet browsers, and newly released browsers like Vivaldi, natively support WebRTC.
Most experts predict that WebRTC won’t replace legacy VoIP infrastructure, but WebRTC applications offer easy peer-to-peer voice and video communication in situations where a standard phone call isn’t optimal. To give you a sense of what WebRTC is capable of, and how it can be used, here are some applications that leverage WebRTC technology to deliver some awesome user functionality.
In 2010, Google purchased many of the codecs and echo cancellation components for WebRTC from Global IP Solutions. Google made modifications and took the technology to the IETF and W3C to get industry consensus. In 2011, Google released WebRTC as an open-sourced project. The Google Chrome team still maintains the WebRTC website.
Google Hangouts offers phone calls, SMS, video conferencing, and messaging capability all within the browser. There are other applications that are more popular than Google Hangouts, but Google’s software is still a solid benchmark for demonstrating the scope and capabilities of WebRTC.
Discord was originally created to serve the online gaming community and illustrates how WebRTC can easily accomplish the same tasks that were once performed using VoIP applications. Discord is centered around group voice calls and uses WebRTC to support in-app messaging and enable users to add a supposedly unlimited number of people to calls. Discord serves over 14,000,000 callers per day.
Facebook probably adopted WebRTC the most complete and in some of the most innovative ways. Facebook’s intent for using WebRTC was to provide calling capabilities that were better than existing VoIP services. Facebook has leveraged the WebRTC technology for video chat in Facebook Messenger, co-broadcasting in Facebook Live, and VR video calls in Oculus.
GoToMeeting historically leveraged different VoIP technologies, but they’ve integrated WebRTC into their application, and rather seamlessly. The browser option for GoToMeeting is still a bit underutilized because legacy users still use their desktop application. In many ways, GoToMeeting began supporting native browser WebRTC communications without anybody noticing.
Amazon started out using Chime for their internal video conferencing and eventually rolled it out to their customers. Interestingly, Amazon Chime originally started with legacy video conferencing systems, so the speculation is that they made some in-house modifications to the WebRTC technology for their own purposes. Additionally, Amazon uses WebRTC to power parts of Amazon Connect and Alexa.
There’re a lot of other applications that utilize WebRTC (WhatsApp, CodeMentor, appear.in, and on and on). However, these five applications demonstrate a good range of the capabilities and potential uses of WebRTC technology.
Telnyx delivers voice, messaging, and more for applications and next-generation communications companies. Telnyx WebRTC bridges browser-based communications with Telnyx SIP trunking over our global, private backbone. Combine the flexibility of WebRTC with the reliability of a Tier-1 internet carrier. Contact our customer success team to learn more.
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