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Videoconferencing could about to be turned on its head much like traditional telephone communications were when Skype arrived. Tim Kridel explains what this could mean for VC vendors and AV integrators.

Videoconferencing has traditionally only been available to those who could afford the equipment and were blessed with the know-how to use it. Very soon it could become as simple as opening a web browser using today’s average consumer level technology.

WebRTC – which stands for real-time communications – enables video sessions to begin instantly and without the need for plug-ins. This level of simplicity could herald a new dawn of online communications which could help build new markets while demolishing others.

The immediacy of use makes WebRTC a good fit for business to consumer (B2C) communications with some contact centres already adding video chat support, particularly to appeal to younger deomgraphics.

It is also a potential fit for other types of consumer-focused communications, too, including ones where the enterprise endpoint might be a traditional, pro-grade product. Two examples are telemedicine or a financial adviser who wants to use video with customers who value face-to-face communications.

"It’s when you want to make yourself available a click away and you don’t want to depend on downloads or you don’t care what the other side has," said Ira M. Weinstein, Wainhouse Research senior analyst and partner.

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