By Stephen Shankland
The obvious beneficiary for the project is Gmail, the audio and video communications features of which currently require use of a proprietary plug-in. Gmail chat is getting more important as Google's VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) efforts mature and integrate with the Google Voice service.
The real-time chat software originated from Google's acquisition in 2010 of Global IP Solutions (GIPS), a company specialising in internet telephony and videoconferencing.
But Google has high hopes that WebRTC will be used well beyond Gmail. Rather, it hopes WebRTC will become an incarnation of a nascent web standard for videoconferencing and peer-to-peer communications and for the necessary underlying network communication protocols.