WebRTC Survey Results Q3

WebRTC Survey – Results Are Here

Many views are expressed about WebRTC; What is the killer app? What is it that stops its proliferation? Which should be the mandatory video codec?…

Lately, TheNewDialTone together with Upperside, we came out with a survey to learn more about the WebRTC market status. Now is the time to share the results.

I’ll start off with an apology, the survey was closed last week and this post was going live, then we discovered that someone has played with the results by inserting a large amount of responses in a way that made it clear that these are not authentic responses. Unfortunately Survey Monkey doesn’t have any basic security means like Captcha or identification of strange response behaviors. Maybe it was that Amazon Gift Card that was tempting this person or maybe just a strong desire to play with the survey results. Anyway, all fake results had to be manually removed, something that took a bit of time.

The complete and detailed results can be found in this presentation. In this post I would like to take a closer look at a few of them.

Making it easy to add voice & video communication to applications

If you dumb down WebRTC to the very basic thing that it brings, that is a great media engine. Anyone who had to go through the experience of building a voice & video client or service knows all the headaches it takes, and it is a never-ending story as you need to improve quality continuously. The first question of the survey was looking at what companies have used before WebRTC was available.

WebRTC Survey Results Q1

There were different approaches used to build voice and video communications into an application, self development was less common as it required to license some components, develop others and integrate them into one nicely working client. Hard work.

Putting aside the move to the Web and no download, compiling WebRTC into your application is a savior.

Where will WebRTC have the most significant impact?

The interesting thing is not so much what people voted for but rather what they didn’t vote for and that is service provider. I believe that the webification of communications will impact service providers in 2 ways:

  • It will move communication previously handled by the service provider to other places
  • Those that will jump on the WebRTC wagon will be able to create services and platforms that will enable them to build new asymmetric business models.

WebRTC Survey Results Q3

Microsoft & WebRTC

The survey came out just after Microsoft announced their plans to support WebRTC (ORTC, H.264) so it was interesting to hear people’s thought about this and the video codec.

Since then, Skype for Web was announced and things moved on in the IEFT toward a decision (or a decision not to decide to compromise).

People were really worried about the fragmentation in video codec and preferred both to be supported. Should they still be worried? That really depends on how this decision will be implemented in browsers and mobile devices. My guess, we haven’t seen the end of it yet.

WebRTC Survey Results Q4

WebRTC Survey Results Q5

There are more interesting results so make sure to take a look at this presentation with the complete information.

I do want to touch 2 more questions that will be reviewed by Tsahi and myself in December during the WebRTC conference in Paris.

WebRTC API Platforms

We had a Webinar about this topic and Tsahi will be moderating a panel about the topic during the conference.

The response to the question – In what cases would you choose to use a WebRTC API platform? – was not a big surprise. I was hoping to have more votes for the third option, specific services in the cloud. Now, after Twilio announcing their network traversal service it will be interesting to hear what people have to say about this option on the panel.

WebRTC Survey Results Q7

WebRTC for mobile

In the response to the question about the readiness of WebRTC for mobile devices there was a strong consensus that there is still some way to go until it will be easy to tackle this one, mainly for iOS. During the conference we will review the complexities and give examples of how companies have solved the mobile challenge.

WebRTC Survey Results Q8

For more information about these and other questions take a look at the detailed results presentation.

Last but not least. An email will be sent by Upperside to the 2 winners of the Amazon Gift Card.

Your thoughts about the survey results will be happily received at the comments section below.

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TERENA Logo

TERENA Goes For WebRTC

TERENA, an organisation representing the European National Research and Education Networks (NREN), has established a WebRTC task Force under the auspices of its Technical Programme in order to provide a forum for exchanging and promoting ideas, experience and knowledge, as well as fostering collaborations.

Research networks chose WebRTC

TERENA LogoTERENA believes that WebRTC creates an opportunity for the European R&E community to solve its real time communication challenges. WebRTC may finally offer a path towards a large-scale, low-cost and easy to use real time communication infrastructure for group conversations across institutional boundaries.

A feature-rich web complemented with real-time communication capability should offer the opportunity for a more component-based approach to including real-time communication in all sorts of e-Learning and e-Research web applications at a low price point and without locking our community to any particular vendor or solution.

On the charter of the TERENA task force

  • To investigate whether and how WebRTC based solutions and services can be used to enable large scale, easy-to-use, easy to integrate and low-cost use of real-time communication across institutional boundaries for all researchers, lecturers, administrative staff and students in European R&E.
  • To ensure the European NRENs are well positioned to realise the full potential of WebRTC technology for their community as the technology emerges in the years to come.
  • To foster the establishment of an NREN knowledge community as a recognised representative for the European R&E in relevant Web-RTC arenas.
  • To build competence, track national developments, collect use cases as well as demonstrate possibilities and identify possible challenges.
  • To imagine future WebRTC-based NREN services and infrastructural components that contribute to a smooth evolution of the real time communication infrastructure.
  • To liaise with the GN4 SA8 WebRTC Task as well as with commercial partners and industry led standardisation activities related to WebRTC by providing an open, public forum for gathering and exchanging wider aspects, knowledge and expertise.

 

The first meeting of the WebRTC Task Force will be held in Paris December 15, 2014 and is coordinated with the WebRTC Paris Conference & Expo.

Terena’s representatives will be present at the conference and will be happy to meet attending companies.

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Colorful lineup of speakers and sponsors

Speakers and Sponsors Lineup Continues

A little more than a month to go until the opening of the WebRTC Conference in Paris, the largest and first WebRTC conference in Europe. Speakers and sponsors continue to lineup on our agenda making it a colorful event so I thought it is time to give an update and share the new things planed for the event.

Before continuing with the details on that I would like to remind you that we launched a survey about WebRTC last week. We are holding a raffle of 2 Amazon Gift Cards, 50 USD each so hurry up and fill-in your answers. Results will be published next week.

Link to the survey….

Colorful lineup of speakers and sponsors

Regarding the agenda, a new topic was added to the training, ORTC. This presentation will be given by Philipp Hancke from &YET. On top of that there will be another session about ORTC by Antón Román Portabales from QUOBIS. This session by Anton will be on the 3rd day of the conference. After participating in these 2 sessions you will well up to date with what is happening in this domain and the new announcement of Microsoft.

We are also starting to finalize the list of companies that will present their solutions as part of the conference demo sessions. Currently the list includes:

  • Browsetel
  • Videotion
  • NG Media
  • Meetingreat
  • Apidaze
  • Mashmee
  • Quobis
  • StreamRoot
  • Electronic Art

Awards will be given in the following categories:

  • Innovation award
  • Best of show
  • Data channel award
  • Audience choice best of show

We have a nice list of sponsors and exhibitors, the event is growing compared to last year and we are expecting some interesting additions in a short while.

A few of the last additions to this list include:

  • Oracle
  • Broadsoft
  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • matrix
  • ESTOS
  • Artesyn
  • unltd.fm

The addition of these companies enriches the list with both large and mature companies as well as new startups that offer new, non-telecom services such as the one of http://unltd.fm/ I touched before in my post WebRTC Rocks for Music.

I would like to take this opportunity and invite you to take another look at the agenda as things have been added to it. Additionally, you are welcome to visit our blog and Webinars page. Past Webinars cover areas of WebRTC standards, WebRTC for Telcos and tips for building your own WebRTC service.

We are happy to accept ideas from companies interested to conduct Webinars with us as well as blog posts.

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Survey

WebRTC Status Check

Things are moving fast with WebRTC. As we are getting ready for our yearly WebRTC Conference in Paris we are speaking to service providers and vendors dealing with WebRTC. Many have shown interest to know the industry’s perspective on a few important topics such as the Microsoft announcement about their plans to support WebRTC with ORTC H.264.

We collected a few questions about things we discussed with participating companies and speakers as well as a few poll questions from our latest Webinars and put together a survey.

Survey

All together there are 9 questions covering the following topics:

  • Status of WebRTC in the market and in vendors’ and service providers’ perspective
  • Where will WebRTC have most impact
  • WebRTC on mobile devices
  • Microsoft’s announcement

You can also choose to answer the last 10th item and enter your email. This will get you into the drawing of a 50$ AMAZON GIFT CARD (there are 2 of these).

So head over here to take this survey.

Results will be published on this blog.

Survey Link

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WebRTC from the Service Provider Prism

Webinar Heads-up: WebRTC from the Service Provider Prism

At the end of September I hosted Dean Bubley for a Webinar talking about what WebRTC means for service providers, its possible impact on them and the way they do innovation.

In the next Webinar will be looking again at the service providers but from a different angle. We will discuss the impact of WebRTC on service providers and the services they should be providing. The Webinar will take place on October 23rd and this time we will have 2 speakers, one of them representing a service provider.

WebRTC from the Service Provider Prism

As we are having our final internal discussions and presentation fine-tuning to be ready for next week I thought this is a good time to give some heads-up on what you should expect to hear on this Webinar.

What to expect

First speaker is Victor Pascual Avila who is already well known here on the Upperside Webinars. Victor who works closely with vendors and service providers will give his view about the challenges WebRTC imposes on service providers. He will discuss the developers needs and in this context, API integration with existing systems.

To this we will add the actual view of a service provider presented by Sebastian Schumann. Sebastian from Slovak Telecom will review the actual approaches Slovak Telecom has taken to WebRTC, both in IMS and non-IMS scope.

As an opening, I will review the different approaches service providers can take with WebRTC and where value can be realized.

As always, we will have a few poll questions and share their results.

I invite you to take a minute and register for one of the 2 live sessions we will have on October 23rd.

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OpenWebRTC

Ericsson Research Releases Bowser and OpenWebRTC as Open Source

Ever since releasing Bowser, the world’s first mobile WebRTC browser, to the public in 2012 Ericsson has been asked to share our implementation. Today it’s happening!

Today, Ericsson is not only releasing Bowser as free and Open Source but also the underlying cross-platform WebRTC framework called OpenWebRTC.

OpenWebRTC

Bowser is currently the only WebRTC browser on iOS.

OpenWebRTC is a flexible cross-platform WebRTC client framework that can be used to build both native WebRTC apps and browser back-ends.

OpenWebRTC has been developed and used internally at Ericsson Research over the last few years. It has been used to build several research prototypes such as Field Service Support using Google Glass and Remote Control of an Excavator.

OpenWebRTC is built on the belief that the WebRTC standard would transcend the pure browser environment and that native apps, implementing the same protocols and API’s, would become an important part of the WebRTC ecosystem. This is especially true on mobile platforms where native app distribution is often preferred over pure web apps.

Having independent, interoperable, implementations is important for the health of any standard, and WebRTC is no exception. Both IETF and W3C require it as part of the standards process. The ambition of OpenWebRTC is to follow the WebRTC standard closely as it continues to evolve.

WebRTC web apps running in Bowser as well as other applications built on top of OpenWebRTC will be interoperable with WebRTC enabled browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. With support for both H.264 and VP8 video codecs OpenWebRTC is compatible with most video communication services without the need for costly transcoding. Support for iOS, Android, Mac OS X and Linux is built right in.

The WebRTC standard is still evolving and developers are finding new ways of using the technology every day. Ericsson hopes that by releasing OpenWebRTC and Bowser as Open Source, the pace of innovation in the WebRTC community will quicken even further.

Read more in the press release: http://www.ericsson.com/news/1860225

 

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unltd.fr-WebRTC

WebRTC Rocks for Music

Live DJ broadcasts powered by WebRTC

Please…not another video conferencing enterprise/consumer/whatever service of 2,4,6…people talking and chatting. Well, this one sure isn’t!

The exciting thing about WebRTC is that you can never predict what applications it will serve. Although many players are investing in these classic video conferencing services, others are using it for completely different applications. Such is the case with a French startup founded in 2013 by Yannick Gouez, Eymeric Pierre-Louis and Romain Agostini.

Introducing unltd.fm

unltd.fm is at the crossroads of Music Streaming Services and Web Radios: the startup offers an interface that allows DJs and Radio Hosts to produce live and interactive music broadcasts. With this platform, DJs and Radio personalities are able to create their own broadcasts directly from their web browser: Log-in, plug-in your equipment or use the in-browser mixing console and you’re ready to go.

Music Fans can discover music through live broadcast indexed by their musical content (Artist played, Music Style, Tempo, Popularity, etc.). Viewers can also interact with the broadcast using Social Networks like Twitter and Instagram and can also Comment, “Like” and Share the tracks played. 
 Untld.fm claims to offer viewers the experience of what “Smart Radios” should really be.

 

unltd.fr-WebRTC

This web broadcasting service uses WebRTC as its core technology. “In the beginning, there were Shoutcast servers, created in 1999, and Icecast (open source). These servers had become pretty much the standards but remained complicated tools to use because you needed to know how to configure them. The arrival of HTML5 APIs have greatly simplified things,” explains Yannick Gouez. “Our service is live: the concept is that of a radio. It works in one to many broadcasting and can be scaled to support a high amount of simultaneous listeners”.

The core technology relies on a WebRTC MCU that allows to establish One-To-Many broadcasting connection from the Broadcaster to the listeners.

A Broadcasting gateway is also being implemented in order to allow ‘standard’ and plugin-less broadcasting to non-WebRTC devices (iOS devices, smartTVs, etc.).

Automatic ‘over-the-line’ track detection is provided by an Audio Fingerprinting engine integrated into the MCU.

“We have optimized our WebRTC platform to allow OPUS Stereo 48Khz broadcasting which provides a better quality than MP3”.

 

While Audio and Video streams are broadcasted using one-to-many connections over webRTC, the interactive features rely on the Data Channel.

Among Technical challenge faced are:

  • Achieving high quality audio broadcasting over the open internet using WebRTC
  • Feeding WebRTC with WebAudio
  • Broadcasting to non-WebRTC browser & devices (currently in development)

 

Untld.fm is going after the semi-professional DJ market, a rapidly growing population that needs to federate its fans. “Typically, a DJ who broadcasts one show per week and who is going to reach 100 to 150 listeners. There are many analogies with the principal of the webinar,” points out Yannick Gouez.

 

Untld.fm is currently in Alpha version with Beta version planned for Q4 2014.

Applications for the Beta program are open on untld.fm

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WebRTC Conference 2014

New Sponsors Are Jumping On-Board For The WebRTC 2014 Conference

Third edition of the WebRTC Conference & Expo Paris : Four new sponsors

Genband, Metaswitch, NG Media and Apidaze announce their participation to the WebRTC Conference Expo, which will take place in Paris from 16th to 18th of December 2014.

Other major WebRTC players will also soon confirm their participation. Within just two years, this conference has become the most significant one in Europe. The 2014 edition will gather together more then 40

exhibitors. Interest in WebRTC has created a rich and vibrant ecosystem of vendors. Traditional equipment vendors have also invested in this segment while the operators are forced to offer their own solutions.

WebRTC Conference 2014

The 2014 Agenda: new usages, customer profiles

The conference programme will highlight new usages of WebRTC: data channel video streaming, WebRTC & TV services, M2M applications.

Other important sessions will cover first customers profile, service providers strategies and technological issues with ORTC and WebRTC 2.0.

For more information visit our Website or Contact Us.

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Tin-Can-WebRTC-Voice

WebRTC Voice Applications

WebRTC is commonly used for voice applications but video takes the highlights

Relatively speaking, WebRTC video communications is massively overstated in importance. That may sound like heresy, coming from a WebRTC analyst, but it’s also true. Now that doesn’t mean that video is unimportant, nor that it isn’t going to grow hugely in scope, but it’s certainly not the only game in town. And it highlights the surprising lack of voice-only use-cases for WebRTC so far.

Tin-Can-WebRTC-Voice

This reflects a common fallacy in the telecoms industry that so-called “richer” or “multimedia” forms of communication are inherently better, when in fact, they’re just better-suited to certain use-cases or contexts.

Indeed, one only has to look at the huge proliferation of messaging-type applications in recent years, from SMS to web chat to Twitter to email to the various mobile IM models, to realise that often “less is more” in communications. (The obvious counterpoint is RCS/joyn, which amply illustrates that being “rich” doesn’t make you popular).

Given a broad choice of options, consumers tend to pick whatever seems to be the “right tool for the job”. Even when offered a “multimedia chainsaw”, there are still plenty of occasions when a good old-fashioned textual screwdriver or audio spanner is more appropriate. Globally, around 4-5 billion people use voice and text communications regularly. For video, it’s probably more like 100-200m – and for multi-party video, only a small fraction of that.

Too many commentators lazily refer to WebRTC as “Skype in the browser”, invoking an image of video chat or conferencing as the default mode. Few people use terms like “VoIP in the browser” or “Viber in the browser”. Yet ironically, it’s the audio codecs which are agreed, while video is still subject to debate.

Now to be fair, there are various WebRTC audio conferencing products out, while Vonage launched one of the very first mobile WebRTC apps last year. A number of internal contact-centre solutions use a browser dashboard instead of a traditional telephony platform. Twilio, Plivo and Tropo have voice-centric cloud platforms, while a couple of Telco-OTT propositions evolve the normal telephony model to WebRTC. There’s even one or two music-jamming applications around.

But these are exceptions. Most prototypes, demos and commercial WebRTC platforms are video-centric. There are dozens of lookalike video chat services, or video contact-centre concepts. There are innumerable presentations and white papers extolling a new age of video interviews, video telemedicine, video dating and connected video-capable “things”.

Yet almost no thought, design or marketing goes into new ways to extend human speech – or other forms of audio – view WebRTC. It all eyes, but no ears. It’s as if 120 years of “phone calls” has blinded (deafened?) us to the viability of other formats for voice.

Now, it could just be that video is just “shiny” and demo-friendly in a way that audio generally isn’t. It also attracts vendors selling bigger and costlier network boxes too, as mixing and transcoding aren’t as commoditised or easily-addressed by open-source. It could also be down to psychological or design-related reasons – talking to a browser seems a bit weird for some reason, compared to talking to a standalone app.

But the fact is that the bulk of today’s realtime communications is voice-centric, often for good practical reasons. A lot of people cannot or will not use video for many cases – it may be dangerous (eg while driving/walking), distracting, invasive or uncomfortable. In a multi-tasking world, looking at a camera often involves too much cognitive load (especially as you watch your own image), and may inhibit concurrent tasks such as note-taking, or reading presentation slides.

WebRTC-powered video will absolutely have many uses cases, but it equally can never be ubiquitous or the default mode for all instances of communications.

So it seems strange that so few WebRTC applications and services have been targeted at audio-only, or even audio-primary usage. There seems to be a significant gap for companies (or open-source) solutions to enable more pure-audio WebRTC than is currently seen. In particular, the assumption that anything based around speech is necessarily a “call” and could/should be interoperable with the phone system is wrong.

Yet even within the traditional telecoms industry, we’ve long had other formats for voice communications – walkie-talkies, private radio, push-to-talk, voice messaging, hoot-n-holler and so forth. Add in cloud capabilities like speech recognition, storage, translation, audio-processing of various types and we should have a wide range of WebRTC possibilities. Where’s the “Voice Instagram” that allows people to converse in Glaswegian accents or Donald Duck squawks? Where are the realtime profanity bleep-outs, or inline stress-analysis lie detectors?

And going beyond the actual transmission of spoken words, there’s another world of intent and purpose. Why exactly are people talking, and what are they actually hoping to achieve? How can the web – and the network – enhance that? The contextual capabilities of browsers and devices should be able to add to the experience of audio communications – recognising when to capture and emphasise the sounds of crashing waves on beach during a call. Or when to block out the sound of a crashing bore in the background at a party.

WebRTC video offers huge opportunities. But at the same time, we should remember that voice communications has delivered trillions of dollars in revenue in the past, and could continue to do so. Let’s ensure that the Future of Voice is as vibrantly-coloured as the Future of Video.

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WebRTC 2014 Conference Location

WebRTC 2014 Conference Coming to Life

We are shifting gears in preparation for WebRTC 2014. Now that the agenda is public, it’s time to tell you a little bit about the plans for the conference and a few new things that we believe will make the 2014 conference event better than the one of 2013.

WebRTC 2014 Conference LocationThe conference agenda itself was built a bit differently this year as will be described below. Additionally, we added some supporting tools to the conference so people can benefit from content and present their ideas along the year and not only during conference days. There is now a series of Webinars taking place and a blog that was just launched (well, that is where you are reading this post). There will also be a networking tool available for conference attendees so it will be easier to find the people you want to meet.

To wrap all of that nicely, the conference location has changed and it will be in central Paris.

Starting the planning phase

Soon after the end of the WebRTC 2013 conference I was invited by the organizers to lead the committee of 2014 and help in building the conference content and supporting tools. We started forming the conference committee and collected ideas for topics to put on the agenda.

Decision was to have a mix of sessions we would define as mandatory topics to have in the conference agenda while leaving enough room for topics coming mainly from service providers and small startups, things we didn’t think of ourselves and we found interesting.

As a result of this, we managed to get some interesting topics and speakers into the agenda.

The agenda

The training itself will comprise 3 topics:

  • WebRTC state of the market by Tsahi Levent-Levi
  • WebRTC standards update by Dan Burnet and Victor Pascual Avila
  • Data channel workshop by Lubomir Chorbadjiev, CTO of Viblast

The training will be in a technical level right to cater product managers, technology leaders such as architects and CTOs and business people. It is not only for hard-core developers.

At the beginning of the conference we will have a nice lineup of independent industry analysts and consultants I will be bugging through the opening panel to get a wide perspective on what startups, vendors and service providers are doing with WebRTC.

This will come after the traditional opening of Dean Bubbly who will share with us his results of his study about WebRTC statistics and numbers.

On the service provider front there is also a nice lineup of speakers who will present and participate in a panel moderated by Alan Quayle.

We will have series of presentations dedicated to the service provider and enterprise segments as well as more general sessions including:

  • WebRTC SaaS and server side components
  • WebRTC use cases with a few innovative startups
  • A bit more technical sessions on WebRTC 2.0 and ORTC, identity management and the data channel
  • W3C representative’s perspective on the impact of WebRTC on the Web

On the demos front some changes were made this year as well. We will have a dedicated demo session with a few demos of data channel startups. In addition to that there will be demos of communications services but don’t expect to see only the traditional talking heads demos.

There are a few surprises up our sleeves currently in planning so all in all; we believe this will be an interesting conference. You are invited to take a closer look at the agenda and contact us for any question about the conference.

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