Google's Open Source Web Voice and Video Chat Platform Gets a Developer Preview

Google has an interesting relationship with open source, it tries to make many of its projects available to others, yet can be very controlling and secretive at times.

Still, the company continues to make big contributions especially for web technology. One of the latest is WebRTC a real-time communications platform which Google is providing under a BSD-license.

"We are making available WebRTC, an open technology for voice and video on the web. With WebRTC, we’d like to make the browser the home for innovation in real time communications," Google wrote in the blog post announcing the move.

It's somewhat of a low-key project at Google, it didn't even get a blog or website of its own, but don't let this fool you, it's powerful technology and joins the WebM and WebP family.

Google is providing both the audio and video codecs along with the signal processing technologies to anyone interested, enabling any user to create a voice and video chat app using standard web technologies, provided there is browser support.

"With WebRTC, we are open sourcing the voice and video engine technologies from our acquisition of GIPS, giving developers access to state of the art signal processing technology, under a royalty free BSD style license. This will allow developers to create voice and video chat applications via simple HTML and JavaScript APIs," Google explained.

Google has already started working with several partners to ensure that there is browser support for the technology. Obviously, Google Chrome will support apps built on top of WebRTC, but Mozilla is also on board and Opera has just joined in as well.

Google is also in talks with IETF and the W3C as well as the more informal WHATWG for standardisation of the technology.

If the company achieves what it set out to, WebRTC will prove a great alternative to all manner of web communication tools based on proprietary technology, from Skype to FaceTime.

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