WebRTC. Popular use cases.

Our world is changing every day. They say that there is an old Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” so sometimes changes give us a lot of troubles. Today we can see how our life become faster and faster electronic communication channels, mostly Internet, becomes our main way to talk to each other. Things like coronavirus make Internet even more important.

About 25 years ago World Wide Web or just Web became the most known and bigger part of the Internet, so most people today treat Internet as just a Web and nothing more. Web is everything you can reach with your browser. Thing like Skype or Zoom are not actually part of the Web.

What makes Web so popular today? The answer is simplicity. Through the web today we can get complicated applications like MS Excel online, we can watch video and we can play games. You do not need to install any additional software to work with Excel and you can be sure you will not install some virus with small application developed by some unknown small company. Everything is in your browser. Just close it and application will be unloaded from your computer. So in addition to simplicity Web adds more security.

The only thing that was not covered by Web for a long time was real time video/audio communication. It was a problem because HTTP the main (and the only actually) protocol in the Web was designed to transfer texts not the video and not in real time.

However together with all the changes in our life we got updates of the Web and now we have WebRTC. WebRTC adds this missing part to the set of web technologies it allows browsers to exchange significant amount of data in real time. So now we can stream audio/video or game data from one browser to another.

Is WebRTC reliable and good technology?

WebRTC is actually not something very new this technology is more than 5-year-old already and supported by all browsers including mobile.

Even more it’s not something new from point of view of audio/video calls. WebRTC is using almost the same technics that Skype or Zoom or your SIP phone. WebRTC is just adds existing technologies to the browser. So, you can now do some new things with JavaScript.

But when we multiply power of existing web technologies on new possibility added by WebRTC we receive huge amount of possibilities. And of course, we get possibilities to design and develop low quality products. That’s why you may find that WebRTC is not reliable, it’s not because of WebRTC itself it’s because of poor implementation. The common case of that poor implementation is when you get SaaS solution and have no idea what resources are allocated behind their marketing banners. You have no idea what kind of ICE servers they use how many servers they have, where that servers are located and how they are maintained. Add missing quality indicators and you will receive not working solution which will just tell clients that WebRTC is bad.

In reality WebRTC is ready to move all communication programs to web and be as good as desktop application or even better. Even more the fact that WebRTC has well known protocols can partially guarantee quality and give amazing integration possibilities.

You may ask why we have so poor implementations? The answer is the same it’s culture of Web front-end development. Very often managers and developers underestimate the complexity of web front-end. Today web front-end is complicated desktop application delivered to the client by browser and HTTP(s) protocol. And it can be as complicated as Microsoft Office.

Let’s talk about possibilities that are open with WebRTC for some industries.

Education

On-line education or distance learning is one of the most popular and fast-growing industry now, it was quite famous and interesting before but nowadays it becomes much relevant and even necessary, because despite the situation in the world, the learning process should continue.  The popularity of various learning platforms and other education tools is growing. WebRTC gives tutor and students possibility to communicate in real time and it’s not just text chat. It can be a video/audio call or even a virtual classroom in virtual reality.

Today we already can offer solution based on WebRTC and other Web technologies that can satisfy the entire learning process and offers the next features within: 

  • Classroom with live audio/video lessons
  • Text chat
  • Screen-sharing and co-browsing 
  • File-sharing 
  • Whiteboard with automation that allows to draw advanced well designed content with just mouse
  • Scheduler to manage lessons, milestones, notifications, emails and other parts of learning process  
  • Possibility to record and reply of lessons

It’s just small subset of features, actually the most important ones. And all these features are available on any device without any additional installation or configuration, you just need a Web browser.

Online customer support

Customer and support service agent communication is the one of first turn question for every company and organization. If some organization appreciates its customers, so in case of issues it tries to resolve them as soon as possible and in right way. In his turn a customer, having come to some site or platform, expects to get help with minimum time and efforts lost. The current conditions set the terms in speed of getting contact with support agent and receiving necessary information, just by on click, so in this situation WebRTC-based solutions and tools can be one of the best ways to do it.   

The features of WebRTC-based tools are quite multifaceted, so here they are some of most essentials of them, that can improve customer service level: 

  • Audio/video face-to-face chat. Just click-to-call step – and an agent is ready to listen to customer issue and to help him to solve it in real-time interaction. 
  • Co-browsing is a new feature but has already become famous due to its ability to provide some personal guidance in online actions. Through simultaneous browsing an agent can help a customer to orient on the site, to find necessary information, to fill some form etc., thus avoiding possible misunderstanding. 
  • A moment of using WebRTC on every device and supporting many browsers still works. 

Imagine that you have not very happy client with some problem and you ask him to install something on his computer to allow support to fine-tune his computer. He will be even less happy with your service. But with WebRTC client do not have to install something and he will be familiar with possible threats related to WebRTC issues. And support will be able to start immediately without risky and painful installation of additional software or phone explanation of what client see on his screen.

Assisted online shopping

The current situation with COVID-19 and worldwide pandemic and quarantine measures leave their mark on ours, as they imply certain restrictions. But we still have necessity and wish to do shopping. The ability to make online orders isn’t an innovation for a long time, and many stores and infrastructure facilities can now provide such a service, but progress and the interest to make the buying process for the customer the most comfortable and effective will always give new solutions. Customers can ask consultant to show product in real time by just visiting the web site. And see real time video of the product demonstrated by consultant. Or even see 360 degrees video in virtual reality. Without any addition installation with just browser.

HR and Recruitment

HR agencies can also use WebRTC-based tools for scheduling a video interview wish candidates located in any country as well as record and save every interview if needed. These tools enable to schedule a meeting within, the candidate receives a link by email, goes by this link – and it’s all, you can carry out the interview without downloading and installing additional software.

And many other solutions, that enable to improve real-time communication, solve customers’ issues, meet clients’ needs, boost sales – stack of their abilities is huge and, the progress doesn’t stand still and such solutions and tools will be upgraded according to customers’ needs.  

Outfitting a website or application with a WebRTC audio or video contact channel is a great way to provide ongoing assistance, attracting new clients, being successful and developing your business with the times.  

Want to see how it’s working right now?

You can visit our demo application to see how WebRTC is working right now and for free: https://webrtc.tesseris.com/