Rather than building videoconferencing based on a specific network, Vidyo opted to develop a videoconferencing platform as a Web application that makes the platform more extensible. In fact, the company’s software is the basis for the Google Hangouts videoconferencing service.
Joan Vandermate, vice president of marketing for Vidyo, says one of the reasons that WebRTC has yet to find mainstream adoption is that no one has really made it simple for developers to use WebRTC to invoke an external videoconferencing application.
Vidyo Server for WebRTC gives browsers supporting WebRTC full participant access to Vidyo calls with no download required. The Vidyo Server for WebRTC will also allow users to join a Vidyo conference in voice and content sharing mode from non-WebRTC-compliant browsers or mobile devices.
In addition, the Vidyo Server for WebRTC will enable interoperability between videoconferencing sessions based on WebRTC, scalable video coding, and legacy H.323 or SIP.
WebRTC itself is an API definition being drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium to enable native browser applications for access to, for example, voice calling, video chat and P2P file sharing without requiring plug-ins. WebRTC is now in the hands of the Internet Engineering Task Force, which is trying to create a WebRTC standard that will extend beyond the Google Chrome and Firefox browsers that currently support it.
Originally developed by Google, Vidyo is working to add support for VP9 of WebRTC, which will deliver improvements video quality, resilience and scalability of videoconferencing applications.
Ultimately, Vandermate says the goal is for just about every application to be able to incorporate videoconferencing services without having to invent that particular wheel themselves. Instead, developers would create applications that invoke videoconferencing in a way that enables end users to maintain context about the subject of the conversation within the application they are using.
In theory, such capabilities would not only significantly boost productivity, they would substantially increase use of videoconferencing within enterprise environments where, for the most part, anything to do with communications is still not particularly well integrated within a larger application experience.