The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) version 1.0 is now feature complete. The specification will now move onto a Candidate Recommendation period to address any feedback from the community before moving to Proposed Recommendation status.
WebRTC is a set of protocols and APIs for enabling real-time communications such as live video chat between browsers and mobile applications. “The WebRTC framework provides the building blocks from which app developers can seamlessly add video chat in gaming, entertainment, and enterprise applications,” the W3C writes in a statement.
The W3C has been working on WebRTC along with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IEF) since 2011. The standard will enable web browsers to access cameras and microphones, and set up audio and video calls. “Setting up an audio-video communication system used to require years and millions in investment – now that the major necessary bricks have been standardized and deployed as a royalty-free feature in browsers, it has become a commodity available to any Web site, any Web app. This means online live communications no longer needs to be a product – it can be a feature of any on-line experience. Setting up an online meeting no longer requires agreeing on apps or plugins in advance – it is just a matter of sharing a link,” the W3C writes.
In addition to its real-time audio and video capabilities, the organization says WebRTC also provides the ability for peer-to-peer data exchanges to the Web
WebRTC 1.0 is expected to move onto Proposed Recommendation status by April 15, 2018.
Going forward, the WebRTC working group will turn its focus to interoperability “Great efforts have already been put in our associated test suite, and with the recent release of a dedicated open source engine to facilitate cross-browser testing of WebRTC, we look forward to much more progress in the short term on this front as we work toward bringing WebRTC to Recommendation,” the organization writes. Other updates will include improving the main WebRTC 1.0 API; finalizing designs of other associated specification such as managing media streams; new designs and features for the next WebRTC version; and adding new functionalities.
“Developers who started adopting WebRTC in their products over the past few years will know that, as we advanced in our understanding of what needed to be exposed and how, the API evolved considerably, creating challenges in keeping code bases updated, and dealing with different rate of adoption of these changes across browsers,” W3C writes.