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Google and Mozilla create P2P video conferencing clients with WebRTC

Bypasses plugins or Skype
Tue Feb 05 2013, 16:00
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SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS Google and Mozilla have shown off video conferencing using WebRTC between the Chrome and Firefox web browsers.

Last year Mozilla showed off WebRTC by demonstrating video conferencing on its Firefox web browser linked to its Social API. Now Google has joined Mozilla in demonstrating peer-to-peer (P2P) video conferencing between the Firefox and Chrome web browsers using WebRTC.

Mozilla said WebRTC's Peerconnection interface allows applications to make P2P audio and video connections without having to install plugins. Google's Chrome 25 web browser, which is now in beta, has implemented WebRTC allowing users to set up connections with Firefox and other WebRTC enabled applications.

Google said all audio and video connections are encrypted using open audio and video codecs such as Opus and VP8, respectively. Both Google and Mozilla are working with the W3C and IETF to develop WebRTC, and although it is still work in progress, the applications that are being developed to demonstrate its capabilities show that WebRTC can mean an end to having to download plugins and add-ons.

WebRTC developers are getting greater access to low-level hardware capabilities, allowing for development of rich applications without the need for downloading applications and plugins. While Google and Mozilla claim this will enable easier use of media rich applications, it will place greater emphasis on web browser security in order to sandbox such applications. µ


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