Mozilla today announced a new WebRTC communications feature has landed in Firefox Nightly. The company has partnered with TokBox, which not only helped with development of the project but is responsible for the OpenTok video and voice platform that powers the new service.
Details are still scarce as Mozilla is calling this an experimental feature. The company is promising, however, that the goal is to “connect everyone with a WebRTC-enabled browser” without any additional plugins or downloads.
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Here is Mozilla’s pitch:
If you have a browser, a camera and a mic, you’ll be able to make audio and video calls to anyone else with an enabled browser. It will eventually work across all of your devices and operating systems. And we’ll be adding lots more features in the future as we roll it out to more users. It’s going to be awesome!
For those who don’t know, WebRTC is an open project that provides Internet users with the ability to communicate in real-time via voice and video by simply using a Real-Time Communications (RTC) compatible browser. It enables Web app developers to include real-time video calling and data sharing capabilities in their products, which can range from games to video conferencing tools.
Mozilla has been a big proponent of WebRTC. In February 2013, it teamed up with Google to show off video chat between Chrome and Firefox development builds without the need to install a third-party plugin.
Clearly the company wants to make this a dedicated service that Firefox offers out-of-the-box. Yet it’s making sure not to over-promise anything: “But you shouldn’t expect a polished service quite yet. It’s early days and we’re just starting to test pieces of this service.”
If Mozilla gets its way, Firefox will be the browser not just for navigating the Web, but for communicating over it as well. That’s a big bet to make, but we’d be lying if we said we’re not interested in what Mozilla dreams up.
Top Image Credit: Jeroen Belen