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    Peer-to-peer communications with WebRTC

    This is an experimental technology
    Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for the proper prefixes to use in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the spec changes.

    The WebRTC APIs are designed to allow JS applications to create real-time connections with Audio, Video, and/or Data channels directly between users via their browsers, or to servers supporting the WebRTC protocols.  It also leverages navigator.mozGetUserMedia() to get access to mic and camera data (getUserMedia() is being standardized in the Media Capture Task force, along with Recording APIs).

    The primary sources for the evolving specifications for WebRTC are the W3's WebRTC and getUserMedia specs, and the various drafts at the IETF, mostly in the rtcweb working group, but also mmusic, rmcat and a few others.  Much of the implementation in Chrome and Firefox is based on code open-sourced by Google at webrtc.org.

    NOTE:  Current versions of FlashBlock may default to blocking HTML5 <video> widgets; if so tell it to allow content on the page, or disable the setting via Tools/Add-ons.

    A good tutorial on basic features in WebRTC is at HTML5 Rocks.   A collection of basic test pages to support development are at webrtc-landing.

    You can make simple person-to-person calls (including to people using Chrome) at apprtc.appspot.com.

    A high-level description of what happens in an RTCPeerConnection was shown in an Hacks article (see all WebRTC Hacks articles here):

    Basics of RTCPeerConnection call setup

    Specifications

    Specification Status Comment
    WebRTC API In definition  
    getUserMedia API In definition http://dev.w3.org/2011/webrtc/editor/getusermedia.html

    Browser compatibility

    Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
    Basic support Yeswebkit Firefox 22 Not supported Not supported Not supported
    DataChannels Will be in Chrome 29 Firefox 22 Not supported Not supported Not supported
    Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
    Preliminary support Via Chrome (behind flag) Activated on Nightly and Aurora Not supported Not supported Not supported
    DataChannels ? Activated on Nightly and Aurora Not supported Not supported Not supported

     

    Document Tags and Contributors

    Contributors to this page: Laurentj, Jeremie, teoli, jesup
    Last updated by: teoli,