Happy Birthday WebRTC!!!

We live in an era of communication. Our phones and laptops are integral to our lives, so much so that Oxford had to coin a word for the addiction that this lifestyle brings. The Play Store houses a whopping 2.2 million apps and about a 1000+ get added everyday and the App Store comes to a close second in that metric. Communication is in the centre of it all. Be it chat bots or the basic need for conversation, we are a content hungry, instant communication wanting generation and webRTC brings exactly that to the table.

While we all enjoy wishful thinking that includes the prospect of having our own Jarvis and taking communication to a level where the world practically runs at our beck and call, we fail to understand the nuances that help build this ability. Rewind back a few years and building a simple chat interface would have been any coders nightmare but pace forward into today’s era of webRTC and Jarvis doesn't seem like a distant dream. WebRTC has simplified, standardised and revolutionised communication in the 5 years that it has been around and it holds a future of unimaginable possibilities and innovation for us to explore.

So while the community continues it’s ground breaking work in webRTC to take it further across the 5 year mark, a pause and look through what this technology means could help us understand its gravity.

1.What is webRTC? 
WebRTC or Web Real Time Communication as the name suggests is a web based protocol. It translates into your applications being built within your browsers and dwindling the need for an internal or external plug-in for communication support like voice calling , video conferencing etc. Although it started out as a web centric protocol but the WebRTC community has made sure of its availability on almost all platforms.

2. How is it different from any other protocol? 
WebRTC’s ability to function as a peer based technology, saves the glitch of unnecessary back and forth data exchange with the server. Not only this webRTC is completely open source, it’s easy to build upon and has a thriving community making it an apt choice even for non-browser based applications. In short webRTC is simplifying over all functionality and making communication faster.

3. What else makes webRTC the perfect choice?
Forget firewalls, dysfunctional servers and the pain faced in VoIP, you can access communication anywhere just by the share of a link. WebRTC’s capability to surpass unwanted firewalls makes it the perfect choice. This means webRTC is not only open but it is free as well.

4. What does this mean in terms of a business solution?
It means a paradigm shift in the way we communicate. It also means a lot of time, money and effort being conserved that goes into hosting, developing and operating businesses. Real time and accurate capabilities of webRTC means forgetting unnecessary hassles of building a real time communication solution.

5. How is all of this possible?
WebRTC is very simple in its construct. It is built on a 3 API call concept, which means you are essentially just 3 calls away from enabling real time communication in your application. WebRTC enables communication within your application so you can forget the pain of hosting a lot of content, you just get started and moving.


Some interesting business propositions with webRTC to get you started

Retail

Communicating with customers is an experience that they will love and appreciate. No worries of a bad server hindering your customer support. Peer to Peer interaction makes it easy to monitor calls, also you can guide your customers through a hitch by taking temporary control of their browsers and guiding them through it, all of this enabled by webRTC’s screen-share abilities.

eg :- Amazon Mayday.

Communication

Video conferencing anywhere is made possible and easy. No sign in’s required just a simple link creation and share can get everybody you want on a call. It is secure as only those you share the link with are present on the call.

eg :- Appear, Talky, AppRTC

Even big companies like Facebook, Google, Snapchat etc are using webRTC behind scenes to drive communication. Why not you?

Live Streaming

Live streaming becomes faster as you don’t need to fetch data from your server repeatedly, as a browser your application can help broadcast to other browsers just like torrents function.

eg :- WebTorrent, Talky, AppRTC

Healthcare

Imagine emergency situations being taken care of immediately. Waiting for an ambulance can make you lose precious seconds while saving someone’s life. WebRTC can prevent such medical losses by making real-time medical help available. Browser to browser real time communication can make medical guidance available at any time through conferencing with doctors.

eg :- Wellbeing consult, Lybrate

Education

Rural areas no more need to worry about a dwindling literacy rate or the lack of educational infrastructure for children. WebRTC based smart classrooms can help students have interactive web based classrooms that broadcast to multiple browsers and help students learn.

These are just a few of the industries that webRTC has the potential to revolutionise. It is time that WebRTC moves from the envelopes of a developers coterie and becomes a topic of common discussion among folks capable of driving business.

Even though webRTC has seen its share of ups and downs we at PnP Labs believe it will drive a lot of value and innovation. Long, live and prosper WebRTC.

-Sneh Ganjoo

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