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Voice over browser: Take it or face it

Google has released a new version of Chrome fitted with WebRTC. It is a collection of real-time communications protocols that includes everything to turn the browser into a high-end communications system. The browser-based calls will be clearer than mobile phone, as the former is equipped with built-in high-definition audio codecs. Mozilla and Opera are Google’s partners in this open project. Ericsson and Telefonica have already endorsed it.

This could lead to a whole new generation of communications applications, as every business process that once involved someone picking up a phone and making a call is transformed into a click. It could also accelerate the move to Internet-based calling and away from the public switched telephone network, as people increasingly connect with each other by exchanging online presence information, rather than by exchanging phone numbers.

Facebook users, in particular, have had the ability to connect with each other via Skype since July 2011, and that hasn’t spelled the end of traditional phone calls. Neither has Apple’s FaceTime, another example of a real-time communications technology.

But both Skype and FaceTime only allow communications with other Skype or FaceTime users. WebRTC allows communications between any browser, and it can also be implemented in native apps, making it more flexible and potentially more disruptive.

Full story in Forbes.

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