Yesterday on stage at Cisco Collaboration Summit, I demonstrated an industry first – the first non-transcoded video call between a webRTC application and an existing video endpoint.
Why is this significant? WebRTC is an exciting new technology, enabling real-time voice and video calling natively in the browser. Up until now WebRTC-enabled applications have not been able to connect to existing video collaboration gear that companies may own, from room systems to desktop video endpoints.
Today, Cisco has broken the barriers that previously prevented browser-based collaboration from connecting with existing video hardware. Companies that have invested in video collaboration can now extend that collaboration to the browser, enabling their users to collaborate from anywhere, at any time.
Yesterday, Andreas Gal, the CTO of Mozilla, joined me on stage. He called a simple SIP URI on a Cisco video endpoint, which instantly rang my Project Squared client running in Firefox. By leveraging WebRTC and Cisco’s OpenH264 binary module integrated into Firefox, we had a great voice and video call, without plugins, complex and cumbersome browser downloads, or expensive transcoding gear in the cloud. Check out a demo of what we did onstage here:
How did this happen? A year ago, Cisco open sourced its H.264 implementation, and then produced a binary module that we encouraged companies and developers to integrate into their products. Last month, we worked with Mozilla to add this module to Firefox. We then worked together to make sure Project Squared could use this binary module to provide voice and video calling within Firefox. No user downloads are necessary – instead, this new technology is transparent to the user and just works. Project Squared is powered by the Cisco Collaboration Cloud, which supports SIP based interoperability without the need for transcoding. See Mozilla’s blog post here for more information.
This is a major step forward for the industry, truly bringing the vision of connecting anywhere, from any device, a reality.