The battle for hearts and minds in the video communications space continues to heat up, after news emerged that Google plans to add video chat within Chrome.
Henrik Andreasson, a Google programmer, explained in a blog post that it would be possible to build video-chat tools into Chrome by offering full support for the Web Real Time Communications (RTC) standard in the browser.
"We are working hard to provide full RTC support in Chrome all the way from WebKit down to the native audio and video parts," he said.
"When we are done, any web developer shall be able to create RTC applications, like the Google Talk client in Gmail, without using any plug-ins but only WebRTC components that runs in the sandbox."
The idea of making video calls directly through the browser is certainly appealing, removing the need for add-ons and plug-ins of which many are unaware or unsure, and instead putting the power to call straight into the hands of the end user.
Cisco, Skype/Microsoft and others are all promoting their own video technologies, and the key issue will remain interoperability. No-one will buy or use a system if they can't chat to someone else using a different operating system, browser or even telepresence unit.
On this point, an earlier blog post by Google engineering director Rian Liebenberg detailing the launch of the WebRTC code, said the company would talk with other browser manufacturers and standards bodies to ensure they could interoperate.
"We'll be working closely with other browser developers such as Mozilla and Opera to implement this technology for use by the broader web community," he said.
"In addition, we've collectively engaged with the standards communities such as IETF and W3C working groups to define and implement a set of standards for real-time communications."
So, your mum ringing up for a face-to-face chat while you're surfing the web in your underpants? Get ready, it's going to happen ...
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