Google has added support for WebRTC technology in the dev channel version of Chrome, allowing real-time video chatting without the need for drivers or a stand-alone client.
What that means for end-users is that it could spell certain trouble for the likes of stand-alone clients like Skype and Tango. In addition to Google, Mozilla and Opera are also supporting the WebRTC technology, meaning apps based on WebRTC can be installed not only on Chrome, but Firefox and Opera. Right now WebRTC is being considered for standard status at the W3C and the IETF, and Google admits that WebRTC is still evolving based on feedback by developers and the standards process.
The search engine giant said that it began collaborating with vendors right after the WebRTC launch to help integrate the technology into their products. Polycom, Vonage, Vehix.com, Firespotter, Siemens, Nimbuzz and PCCW are currently actively developing browser-based solutions using WebRTC, Enborn said.
Just after Thanksgiving, reports indicated that WebRTC would allow streaming services like OnLive to pump games straight into a browser without the need for downloading a separate client. The news arrived after it was revealed that gamepad support was coming to Google's browser in 1Q12 along with support for cameras and microphones without the need for drivers.