Make WebRTC Your Technology Summer Passion Project
Posted On July 10, 2017 by Chip Wilcox in Android, Blog, iOS, Media, Resources, Tutorials, Web
School’s out. The barbecue is in full flame every day. The pool water’s actually getting to a point where it doesn’t cause cardiac arrhythmia on first entry. You might even be getting a little bored. After all, there’s only so much sleeping and slacking one can take. Am I right?
Ok, maybe not.
In any case, maybe you are looking for a summer “passion project,” Passion projects are projects that relate to something that inspires you, or that you’ve always wanted to do, but just haven’t gotten to yet.
When I was growing up, my father used to put me to work around our house during my summer breaks, scraping and painting things, mowing the lawn, and so on. Those were chores. That’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about the other stuff my Dad helped me do. When I turned 16, he handed me a JC Whitney catalog and a credit card and told me that my job that summer was to rebuild the family car’s engine.
It wasn’t so much that I wanted to learn about our 1966 Volvo 122S from the inside out, but more because I kept yammering on about wanting to buy a classic British sports car. If I was ever going to do that, he wanted me to know how to fix it myself. After that summer’s Volvo renovation, my Dad followed up by acquiring a 1964 Austin Healey 3000 Mk III. You can guess what my passion project was that summer.
As time went on I continued the practice of using summer holidays as a way to pick up new skills or to practice things I loved to do but didn’t normally have time for. It’s a great time to practice musical instruments, for example (especially if your neighbors are away at the beach!).
Another passion for me is learning about new technologies and how to use them. If you’re like me, however, with so many to choose from, sometimes the choice of which new technology to investigate can be a little overwhelming.
I have a fantastic idea for you, though given where I work, you won’t be surprised at my suggestion. This summer, you should make WebRTC your technology summer passion project. Now is a great time for you to learn how to embed Web Real-time Communication (WebRTC) into any website or mobile application.
What is WebRTC, and why should I be passionate about it?
WebRTC is set of open source Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which together make up a new standard for enabling real-time communication between Internet-connected devices (think web browsers, mobile phones, and more).
It’s a big deal because WebRTC is a foundational and game-changing technology that makes it possible or at least easier than it’s ever been before, to add audio calling, video chat, text chat and the sharing of any kind of data between two or more users of any application.
Why learn WebRTC?
It almost doesn’t matter what industry vertical you are in, there’s a way that the features and functionality WebRTC supports can be utilized to improve workflow, facilitate collaboration between employees, increase positive engagement with customers, and more.
Now there are also companies like Temasys that help developers of any skill level add real-time communication features to any app, without having to build and manage the entire stack of infrastructure that is normally required to use WebRTC.
Maybe you are looking to transform your company’s digital channels into real-time customer engagement engines. Or, perhaps you’d like to build a very simple and easy-to-use video chat application so you can stay in touch with your family. Either way, the technology to help you is here and ready to use today.
How are businesses using WebRTC?
As many different industries as there are or as many different types of businesses as there are in the world today, WebRTC can be used in almost all of them. You may not hear people say they’re using “WebRTC”, but if the interactions happen within the context of an application versus happening on a standalone, specialized video conferencing app, there’s also a good chance that WebRTC is powering the exchange.
Here are a few common examples:
- Healthcare and telemedicine: WebRTC has been rapidly adopted to support secure, cost-effective remote consultations between healthcare providers, patients, and their families. The benefits range from cost savings to improved access to care, and better patient outcomes.
- Education: From kindergarten to university settings, WebRTC is being used to facilitate communication between students, parents, teachers, counselors and more. Webinars, office hours, parent-teacher conferences, tutoring sessions, all can be facilitated by the capabilities WebRTC brings to the table.
- HR and Recruitment: Interviewing job applicants can be challenging when candidates can be almost anywhere in the world, or when interviews need to be scheduled with many different people. Now there are companies who are adding video interviewing and recording of those interactions to their applicant tracking systems.
- E-commerce: Retailers are using WebRTC to provide live assistance on their websites and via their mobile apps. This has been proven to increase conversion rates and also to increase average shopping cart values.
Here at Temasys, we also see many creative, if not unusual ways our customers work with WebRTC. For instance, Weqool uses the Temasys Platform to enhance its social fitness application. Tap To Speak uses WebRTC to turn smartphones into microphones during live events. With an audience of over eight hundred thousand users, GoodNight is using WebRTC in its popular voice-based dating and social networking app.
Is WebRTC easy to use?
The open source code for WebRTC might be easy enough to use if you’re an experienced developer and you’re willing to learn everything from the ground up. However, if you’re more interested in learning how to quickly satisfy the requirements for an especially interesting use case, the easiest and fastest way to get started is to work with a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that offers ready-to-use Software Development Kits (SDKs) and who will support your application infrastructure needs, no matter how small or large your deployment may eventually be.
Companies like Temasys offer everything you need to get started and make it very easy to add support for other components like TURN, which helps improve connectivity through firewalls (NAT Traversal), and for features like recording and archiving.
Here’s how to get started
In fact, you really don’t need all that much to start developing with WebRTC if you go the PaaS route. You’ll need a relatively new computer with a microphone and webcam, and set up a development environment for your favorite web or mobile app platform.
If you start from the open source code you’ll need to download the native libraries for WebRTC as well as figure out which signaling stack to use. There are many out there offering advice on this topic. Here’s one of the best I’ve found.
As a PaaS, Temasys handles all of the complicated parts of making WebRTC work, for you. From signaling to media routing servers (when needed), to tons of other useful features, all you need is to sign up for an account, get an application key, and download their SDKs. They provide excellent, easy-to-use documentation, and provide ongoing support and guidance, as well.
Of course, I am biased on this topic but I can say that our customers tell us that this alone can help shorten the development process for your real-time communications features from weeks and months to days, and in some cases hours.
That’s perfect if you make WebRTC your technology summer passion project!
To learn more information about Temasys, click here.