IN A PERFECT WORLD
In a perfect world all current browsers would allow the usage of WebRTC natively, but that is as always not the case ;)
WHAT IS WEBRTC ?
“WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is an API definition drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that supports browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video chat, and P2P file sharing without the need of either internal or external plugins.” – Wikipedia
A friend of mine is currently evaluating options to add live video into a web project, so that participants on the website can talk to each other or follow online video courses.
WebRTC would be perfect, as you could include a native video chat window inside your web application. As said above, browser support is still limited.
Currently supported browsers are:
- Canary / Chrome (Desktop / iOS / Android)
- Firefox (Desktop / iOS / Android)
- Temasys WebRTC Plugins
- CanIUse Overview
As always Internet Explorer & sadly Safari are lagging behind and provide no WebRTC API yet. So for a native web integration that means to either ignore IE users and redirect them to use another browser or use an external solution that is not as integrated. Just like it was when Flash lost its footing on mobile.
SO WHAT SHOULD I DO ?
I would suggest going WebRTC, as there are many hosted services by now that provide integrated environments with nice APIs, to build a native video chat experience into your web application.
A nice example is verbling, a language learning service, which was build on top of Google Hangouts.
WebRTC is not just a hype, but a technology that is here to stay. Microsoft & Apple will need to follow soon or loose even more browser users looking for modern integrated experiences on the web.
HOSTED SOLUTIONS AND SERVICES
Here are some other services to give you an idea of current solutions emerging.
- Google Hangouts
- appear.in WordPress Plugin
- GoToMeeting Free
- WordPress webRTC
- XirSys – STUN and TURN server hosting for WebRTC applications
MEDIA & ARTICLES
- Google I/O 2013 – WebRTC Plugin-free realtime communication
- What the hell is WebRTC – Vimeo
- ORTC API at Microsoft
- Temasys WebRTC Plugin Video Preview
APIs / LIBs
I will keep this list updated, as I discover new things ;)