WebRTC Solutions Week in Review: Frozen Mountain, Kurento, ACS, Acision
The lesson readers can learn from this week's WebRTC Solutions news is that videoconferencing may be easier than you think. With a report from Talk Business and product releases and updates from Frozen Mountain, Kurento, and ACS and Acision, there is a lot of progress in the market to back up that point.
First, let's reach back to a Talk Business report from this week. First, videoconferencing has been around before broadband Internet became mainstream, but it was not always easy to use and could be very expensive. Today, however, the game has changed because, as Talk Business discusses, the popularity of broadband and the advent of smartphones and tablets have made the task much cheaper and easier. Every mobile device owner has a videoconferencing station in his pocket because they can use applications such as FaceTime and Skype. Sure, there are considerations such as bandwidth, connection speed, and the choice between mobile data and Wi-Fi, but the overall task of connecting to associates has never been more accessible.
Companies such as Frozen Mountain with its cross-browser WebRTC stack called “IceLink” are trying to take WebRTC even further. Its recent announcement shows that the IceLink stack now supports more than just audio and video conferencing; it can now handle text chat, file transfers, and other data services through an improvement on how WebRTC handles data. Frozen Mountain says it has made the peer-to-peer data channel more reliable and faster by eliminating common causes of congestion.
Kurento is also trying to improve its product -- in this case, the Media Server version 6.0 -- by changing the way in which it handles WebRTC traffic. It has moved to the Trickle Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) to handle endpoints. Although version 5.0 has an API that is similar to the version 6.0 API, they do not share this feature, so developers will need to rebuild parts of their applications to work with the newest Media Server. Kurento said it believes the boost in connectivity speed will be worth it.
Lastly, getting back to the individual user and the mobile app, ACS has been busy developing its WhichApp mobile app that handles private messaging. The company has been working with Acision to use its forge software development kit to bring real-time video chat, through WebRTC, to its users. That group of users, more than 700,000 strong, now has access to chat and video and can expect the future to hold functionality for group chats, voice/video conferencing, and continued support for the Ghost Chat feature which allows users to share an image or text for limited period of time.