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WebRTC: A new beginning (Part 6)

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

Another in a series of articles describing the new emerging WebRTC initiative

In the not too distant future a new browser is going to appear for any of your various computing devices (laptop, tablet, smart phone etc) that will support HTML5 and WebRTC enabling effortlessly provide a 2-way voice/video experience with a high level of quality and good chance of it working properly nearly all the time (assuming you’re on a decent broadband connection).

But what does the mean?

If you make something easy to do at nearly zero cost, a lot of people will try and do something with it (witness Android). Similar as well to Android, the introduction this free capabilities will likely result in the death of several companies who were busy trying to charge money for it. But like Android, I envision the spawning of a entirely new sector of companies who create new business models and innovative solutions based upon these capabilities. It’s a circle of life sort of thing.

You can immediately imagine a multitude of new Skype offerings and others attacking well know entrenched providers. In that light, yes, there will be firms attacking what traditional telephone companies do today and likely they’re gonna charge less and offer more and win some portion of the market.

But the real excitement comes as web developers realize they can now embed 2-way multimedia applications within their application with relatively little effort. Remember the companies who tried the “click to call” buttons on their websites, it was a great idea, but in those prehistoric days, very difficult to do.

With the advent of WebRTC, we’re going to see MORE VoIP applications appearing and with them more opportunities for new business ideas.

These VoIP applications may need telephone numbers, a path to other networks, a place to store things – in fact cloud computing or this concept of “Unified Communications” may in fact suddenly find a renewed life. The ability to create a custom application for any number of vertical markets is easily enabled.  Your next communications device could well be your iPad!

But it’s more than just multimedia. It’s the ability to intertwine voice and data together in a way we never thought possible. Imagine calling United Airlines and instead of hearing the dreaded “press 1 to check flight schedules”, your iphone display pops up with a list of you choices and you navigate their IVR using your touch screen and only use the phone to talk when you have an agent on the line.

BUT it’s more important that just that. Imagine the United Airlines application above, which granted United would spend big $$$ for, being available to any business for $19.95 a month.

The power of the Internet to bring sophisticated solutions at a low cost to the masses is what WebRTC is all about.

.. continued