The Future of WebRTC

Mike Stowe
RingCentral Developers
4 min readJun 22, 2021

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Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Arnaud Budkiewicz, Senior Director of Engineering, Video here at RingCentral to talk about how WebRTC is transforming communications, and what the future of WebRTC and browser based communications looks like.

Arnaud also recently spoke at Kranky Geek 2021, you can watch the recording of his session on “Screen Sharing Made Easy using WebRTC” on YouTube.

Arnaud, thank you for taking the time to discuss WebRTC with us. For those that might not be familiar, can you explain more about what WebRTC is?

WebRTC is a standard real-time communication technology for the web, that supports video, voice, and generic data to be sent between peers. WebRTC is available on all modern browsers as well as on native clients for all major platforms.

In other words, WebRTC allows for you to make calls or have video meetings through a supported browser, such as Chrome without the need to download or install a specific app. This means that meetings and webinars can now be more accessible, and easier for people to join.

Can you share more how this also benefits developers?

With a minimal effort, the application will be supported by all the major browsers, on desktop and mobile devices. The entire stack is open source, the community is large and supported by Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, among others. It comes with modern audio and video codecs that are free to use.

It’s great to see this medium coming together and having not just strong support from thought-leading companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and RingCentral but also a strong community of developers surrounding it. In fact, I believe WebRTC just recently became a recognized standard, can you share more?

After almost 10 years of work, WebRTC became officially a W3C RFC on 26 January 2020, but the innovation didn’t stopped there, new working groups were already working on “Insertable Streams”, to offer insertion of user-defined processing steps in the encoding and decoding of a WebRTC MediaStreamTrack. Secure Frames also named Sframes, enable the developer to implement true end-to-end media encryption. In the last months, WebRTC major contributors invested in new codecs, VP9 and AV1 for video, Lyra for audio.

With all of the innovations happening with WebRTC, what does the future look like?

Clicking a link to join a meeting, an art class, an all hands, a live event, right from your favorite browser, on any device, really became normal. Now is the time to really enhance the user experience for screen sharing, which hasn’t changed much in the last years, improve the media quality in extreme network conditions, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, enabling 4K+ resolutions, multi-channel audio.

With all the work surrounding WebRTC, can you share more about what RingCentral, including your team is doing to drive innovation?

RingCentral has a strong reputation for media quality being Leader in the Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant, Worldwide for 6 years in a row. I want to bring RingCentral’s expertise to the working groups at W3C and IETF and contribute to shape the future of frictionless and secure communications.

At the implementation level, RingCentral engineers have been reporting issues, testing, and fixing the WebRTC stack, for a better experience on all devices, in the browser as well as with native applications.

You mentioned the World Wide Web Consortium, could you tell us more about what it is and why it is so important that RingCentral is an active part of this group?

The W3C mission is to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure the long-term growth of the web. Well-known W3C standards HTML, CSS, and WebRTC are the foundational technologies upon which websites and modern services are built. Now that WebRTC has become an RFC, all the modern browsers are converging to one unique implementation. The user experience is heavily discussed in different working groups, in balance with the specific security browsers paradigm, and we want to provide our input by surfacing our use cases.

You can learn more about the W3C and RingCentral’s participation at https://www.ringcentral.com/us/en/blog/ringcentral-joins-w3c-and-webrtc-working-group/

Are there other groups or organizations RingCentral has joined and is taking a leadership role in to advance WebRTC?

Google Chrome has developed a Modern Computing Alliance (MCA) group where RingCentral is a founding member along with 11 other chosen partners and currently involved in some critical working groups. RingCentral’s commitment, involvement and willingness to drive initiatives with Google Chrome’s team along with the other MCA partners is essential to our partnership success.

You can read more about the MCA at https://chromeenterprise.google/moderncomputing/

Arnaud, thank you so much for your time today and for sharing a glimpse of the power of WebRTC, what the future looks like, and how RingCentral is actively playing a part in this revolutionary communications technology.

Learn more about what RingCentral is doing by watching Arnaud’s talk at Kranky Geek: https://youtu.be/l2e_Bh55C9s

Want to stay up to date and in the know about new APIs and features? Join our Game Changer Program and earn great rewards for building your skills and learning more about RingCentral!

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Mike Stowe
RingCentral Developers

Developer, actor, and a *really* bad singer. Fan of APIs, Microservices, and #K8s.