Mozilla Demos Realtime Sharing Features In Firefox
Written by Ian Elliot
Monday, 03 December 2012
Mozilla has produced a video to showcase what happens when you combine its new Social API with WebRTC. The result is realtime video calling and data sharing - all at the click of the mouse or by dragging
In the video Todd Simpson, Mozilla's Chief of Innovation uses WebRTC, a feature that was introduced into Firefox Aurora in early November, together with the new Social API facilities that are already here with Firefox 17 and demonstrates live video calling and data sharing.
The demo shows how WebRTC adds a dimension to that chat facilities we currently use.
Sometimes when you’re chatting with a friend, you just want to click on their name and see and talk with them in real-time. Imagine being able to do that without any glitches or hassles, and then while talking with them, easily share almost anything on your computer or device: vacation photos, memorable videos – or even just a link to a news story you thought they might be interested in – simply by dragging the item into your video chat window.
The features used in the video are:
getUserMedia, which allows a developer to easily capture the user’s camera and microphone data (with the user’s permission)
PeerConnection which enables secure audio and video calling and provides for high quality, low delay, encrypted calls from one WebRTC browser to another
Both of these things were difficult for the browser to do before WebRTC was introduced.
The blog explains that the data sharing is done using DataChannels, which Mozilla is the first to implement. If you want to try DataChannels, described as:
a powerful component of WebRTC that can be used by itself or combined with an audio/video chat to send almost any data that the browser can access,
for yourself it is supported in the Firefox Beta but has to be turned on in about:config. A post on Mozilla Hacks explains how to do this and gives more information about developing apps using WebRTC.