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Google’s WebRTC aims to revolutionize real-time communication

webrtc-logo-vert-retro-255x305UPDATE 4:10pm ET 06/01/11: Great detective work by Stefan Richter, uncovers lots of involvement by Microsoft, Logitech, Cisco, Intel, etc. and notably: Skype, including ex-Adobeian and P2P architect Matthew Kauffman. This is really getting interesting. Follow-up blog post on WebRTC: http://bit.ly/li83i1.

Google seems to be targeting Flash Media Server’s core functionality with its new initiative: WebRTC. Aiming to bring real-time communication to the browser through simple HTML and JavaScript APIs, this open source project is poised to directly compete with FMS for video, voice and data communication applications.

Their challenge lies here, from the WebRTC blog:

“In this effort, we’ll be working closely with other browser developers such as Mozilla and Opera, to implement this technology for use by the broader web community.  In addition, we’ve collectively engaged with the standards communities such as IETF and W3C working groups to define and implement a set of standards for real time communications.”

Opera did announce today that they are on board, joining Google and Mozilla — but they’ll have a long way to go to get these standards implemented across the board, if the video codec debates are any indication. Although, I still believe (as I always have with FMS) that real-time communication can be the killer app that makes these kinds of big steps possible.

While they are building in support for WebM (VP8), other codecs will be allowed to be integrated as well. For more information, visit the WebRTC project page, and Stefan Richter’s blog post about the announcement.

A developer preview of WebRTC including source code, specs and tools is available now at http://sites.google.com/site/webrtc/.

Posted in: Interactivity, The Basics, Web Video News

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