Amazing Applications using WebRTC (1)

[ this article as a follow up, written on February 2016, here ]

Last week I gave a training at Cisco, followed up by a hackathon on OpenWebRTC. My friend, colleague at w3c and IETF, dan burnett was handling the standard part of the training (and god knows he is good at it), while I was handling the pratical part: implementations, stacks, debugging browsers, ….. It was a great session, the duality between theory and practice (Yes, this is what the spec says, now, it is not exactly implemented like that …..) was exciting, and the audience was very knowledgeable, each on some part of the big puzzle that a WebRTC solution is, as well. Great experience.

At the end of the training, I was asked a question I was unprepared for: what are the most amazing webrtc apps or solution. Hum, tough one. First because it’s about taste, some people might be amazed by great user interfaces (and would love Telenor Digital‘s appear.in for example), while some other would be amazed by a company that solved a technical problem they have been unable to address so far (Ericson’s bowser, or eFace2Face‘s cordova plugin both address the problem of missing webrtc Support on iOS, where the webrtcinwebkit project tries to address the same problem at the source).

The researcher in me is always amazed by people that have a vision and can not only see beyond what is possible today, but make it happen.

For that reason I love the presentation by Ferros. The guy is passionate, he has a vision, he makes it happen, and he has that rare capacity to transmit his passion to his audience. In one (yes, only one, for more, you can follow him on twitter) of his side project, he is basically trying to bring bit torrent to the web and to the browsers. I had the chance to work with him half a day in Singapore when he came to speak at JSconf.asia, and to listen to him again at the webrtc meet up in SF lately. It was really enjoyable experiences. I’m really looking forward to listen to him again at the Kranky and geek event (#webrtclive) later this month.

When I was working at Temasys I had the chance to work with Thomas Gorrissen, who is the best JS dev on that side of the world, organizer of JSConf.asia, and UI/UX Expert for Sequoia Capitals among (many) other things. So I did not have to worry too much about my JS code, which is good because C++ devs makes poor JS devs at best 🙂 My only call for fame here is to have made him excited enough about WebRTC that he would consider working on it. My dream JS team would be him, feross, and Iñaki (see below).

There are some engineers that stand out as well in the ecosystem as being part of small teams and still making a difference. I have a lot of respect for the work of Philippe Hancke and Iñaki Baz Castillo for example, and I’m humbled by victor pascual avila or dan burnett knowledge about the different APIs and technologies in use. So I strongly recommend to follow them if you’re not already doing so. I think Iñaki nailed it for all of us: “I was told it was impossible, so I did it.”  My feeling, exactly.

The advantage of WebRTC is that it s so fast to improve, and so easy to start using it, that I’m discovering everyday cool stuff. The project that excites me most this week is a global p2p network project by david dias that leverages webrtc. Yes, it is close to what feross does and I actually can see both projects as complementary, but what is nice about david’s project is that his blog posts are almost complete research papers. That means you have all the information from start to finish, with overview of the entire field of p2p communication (back to kaazaa), with citations, drawing and so on and so forth. It’s refreshing to see something well explained, and reproducible. It also allows someone new to the field (like me) but with enough scientific/technological knowledge to build up enough knowledge on p2p technologies, and signing and security of Distributed Hash Tables used in crypto currency like bitcoin for example. I think he is on to something, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a US-based company was poaching him from Portugal.

If you know of any crazy project that tries to use webrtc in ways that nobody else does, please let me know, I need my weekly fix.

Creative Commons License
This work by Dr. Alexandre Gouaillard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This blog is not about any commercial product or company, even if some might be mentioned or be the object of a post in the context of their usage of the technology. Most of the opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not of any corporate or organizational affiliation.

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