WebRTC: enhancing the web with real-time communication capabilities
Technical, sociocultural, local and global changes in ICT can happen overnight. People adopt new solutions instantly, with cutting-edge technologies rapidly becoming mainstream. HTML5 is a clear example of how change, driven by a combination of factors, creates something new and is itself a catalyst for more innovation. Support for enabling real-time communication (RTC) on the web – WebRTC – is gaining momentum.
Since the early days of HTML and the Mosaic browser, the web platform has become a universal interface working across device, operating system, language and cultural barriers. The web platform gives people a unique way of viewing a wide variety of content, it provides developers with a write-once deploy-everywhere model, and supports service providers in deploying services with global reach.
These factors include increasingly widespread fixed and mobile broadband, consumer and enterprise demand for multimedia communication services, and the need for a platform to reach users – with many types of devices – at a manageable cost.
The current browser-development revolution, with HTML5 at its helm, is pushing browser capability closer to that of native application environments.
With the emergence of HTML5 and other standards such as WebRTC, the central role played by internet technologies is becoming even more significant. An RTC-enabled web platform will be an essential complement to native applications. In the long term, it has the potential to compete successfully with such environments.