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Firefox may soon add HTML5-based video chat

updated 03:15 pm EDT, Mon April 9, 2012

Firefox nightlies to support WebRTC for video chat

Mozilla is gearing up to allow a plugin-free approach to video chat in upcoming versions of Firefox. A demo at the IETF 83 conference caught by TechCrunch showed off the implementation of WebRTC, an HTML5 component that will allow two-way voice, video, and file swaps. As shown, it would sign in with Mozilla's Social API.

Most video chat on the web usually either involves Flash or a proprietary plugin. The decision has locked out most smartphones and tablets from video chat outside of native apps. Adobe's decision to prefer HTML5 over mobile Flash has largely ruled it out.

It's not clear if a future finished version of Firefox will include WebRTC. Upcoming nightly builds will include the basic technology, however, and web apps that use WebRTC will have the option to use it. Google, Mozilla, and Opera support it, and it's likely WebRTC will reach Apple's Safari as well given its embracing HTML5 and using WebKit as the rendering engine, much like Google.

by MacNN Staff



  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Because what I was just thinking was how terrific it would be if only there was yet another video chat standard, but this time requiring me to sign up for an account with a social networking system first.

    The only thing that could make this better is if the video is encoded using WebM, so it wastes a bunch of bandwidth and CPU time as well.

  1. chucker

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Well if it is part of an open standard like HTML5, maybe it has the possibility of being widely adopted by all the existing video chat clients, and might actually make them interoperable

    think about that - a world without skype (yeeugh!)

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