Cisco Technology Radar Trends

Browser-Based Video and Collaboration

WebRTC to Stir Development Frenzy

Remember 20 years ago, when getting on the web was considered remarkable? Today, we don't even think about it as we're flooded with new innovations on a regular basis. In fact, one of the next web innovations, web real-time communication (WebRTC), is just around the corner.

The Next Disruptor: WebRTC

The Next Disruptor: WebRTC

Enable browser-to-browser applications for voice, video, and more, without plugins.

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WebRTC is the latest evolution of HTML5, the fifth revision of HTML, used for structuring and presenting content on the web. When HTML5 came on the scene in 2004, it spurred a new wave of innovation. Now, WebRTC will invite even greater innovation on the web—and have a huge impact on the online communications world.

Browser Video Collaboration

WebRTC is an open API drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It enables browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video chat, and peer-to-peer (P2P) without plugins.

It provides a powerful alternative to other web and mobile development environments such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, as well as other proprietary plugins. And while HTML5 has already brought many new capabilities to the web, it's WebRTC that is poised to be the pivotal technology.

When WebRTC development tools become more widely available and used by the huge web developer community, there likely will be an explosion of new audio and video applications. They'll come from startups and students who have only a basic understanding of P2P communication technologies.

By integrating real-time communications directly into web browsers, WebRTC opens up a world of possibilities. For example, you'll see rich image and video apps directly within your mobile or tablet browsers. You'll also be able to share files directly without a software client. And any user will be able to broadcast and share live audio, video, and data—and it will be as simple as opening a web page.

As with previous disruptions, WebRTC will completely change the way we live. Imagine citizen journalists streaming breaking news directly from their phones to news websites. Or sharing your screen in real time with a colleague by simply clicking on a button.

It will be interesting to watch as WebRTC propels a major disruption in the multi-billion dollar markets of video conferencing, Internet telephony, and live video streaming.

Cisco is actively embracing this trend by contributing to WebRTC standard efforts and browser code implementation with Mozilla and Google.

Already, Cisco Jabber Guest uses the WebRTC standard to support interactive, instant business-to-consumer communication with voice, high-definition video, and data sharing from public websites and mobile applications. Cisco is also collaborating with Google to embed Cisco WebEx natively into the Google Chrome browser and offer online meetings on Chromebooks.