Next week I’ll be giving a keynote at the WebRTC Conference and Expo V. When I last gave a keynote at this show, in June of 2013, WebRTC was full of promise. Back then, WebRTC was a disruptive technology that would revolutionize the world. But I challenged the industry then to create meaningful applications or else WebRTC would flounder and take time to become accepted. I mean, what is the point of doing a “free” IP-based phone call over WebRTC when we have Skype? That’s why we really need WebRTC to be “business useful” as Dialogic’s CEO Kevin Cook said in the June 2014 keynote he presented.
I’ve been around a long time and have seen many “industry changing technologies” that would “revolutionize” the world. Most didn’t. But some actually have, like VoIP. To me, WebRTC shares a lot of characteristics as VoIP. There was the hype, then the disillusionment. But people were working hard in the background. Then we woke up one day and basically, wow, it was rolled out. It worked. It enabled communications to be less expensive. Presence became something we’re used to, anywhere and anytime.
To me, we are at the “working hard in the background” stage of WebRTC today. We still need the integration with existing infrastructures, we still need the business driver and we still need the apps to make this really work. I’ll go over why I see the similarities to VoIP, why I think we’re in the “working hard in the background” stage, why there is still work to do, and why I think it will ultimately succeed, as VoIP has.
I hope you will attend and I look forward to speaking there.