Mozilla has partnered with Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor to create the WebRTC Competency Center, an effort to ensure Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) continues to enable building “innovative communication experiences.”
For context, WebRTC is an open project that lets Internet users communicate in real-time via voice and video by simply using a WebRTC-compatible browser. It enables Web app developers to include real-time video calling and data sharing capabilities in their products, which can range from mobile apps and games to websites and video conferencing tools.
The duo says the main goal of the center is to evolve the Mozilla WebRTC software stack, which is open source and can be freely integrated it into any product and service, into the leading WebRTC stack. The WebRTC Competency Center will set focus areas on a yearly basis, with initial locations in Mountain View, California, and Oslo, Norway.
Mozilla plans to achieve this by joining forces with communications industry leaders, who will contribute software engineering, domain knowledge, and other resources into the center. The company hopes partners will influence the future direction of the WebRTC standard, including its supported and optimized use-cases, because they have a stake in its development. Telenor is merely the first WebRTC Competency Center partner that will contribute to the core Mozilla WebRTC stack.
“At Mozilla we’re focused on advancing the Web as a platform for innovation and we see WebRTC having the potential to power all communications over the Web,” Mozilla CTO Andreas Gal said in a statement. “As one of the early pioneers of WebRTC, we’re excited to be partnering with Telenor to establish this competency center to build WebRTC into a universal technology that everyone can easily integrate into their products.”
WebRTC certainly has the potential for a bright future. As Mozilla points out, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) now requires browsers and devices to support both H.264 and VP8 video codecs, and even Microsoft recently pledged support for the closely-related ORTC standard in IE (on top of Firefox, Chrome and Opera already support WebRTC).
Yet WebRTC still has a very long road ahead of it. Much like its new Competency Center, at the rate that the Internet moves, and without proper care, it could quickly become irrelevant.
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