WebRTC: benefits and potential areas of application

The Internet of Things is growing tremendously, leading to a similar increase in the number of connected camera-based devices tasked with delivering and distributing real-time media data to a PC or smartphone. Browsers have effectively replaced the use of standalone applications for playing audio or video clips.

Adobe Flash, which is expected to be released by major browsers towards the end of 2020, can be used to integrate an IP camera into a web browser. They are not designed for low latency live streaming as they are HLS and MPEG Dash. And although WebRTC is a recent technology, it still outperforms its counterpart without necessarily guaranteeing the greatest device coverage.

What exactly is WebRTC?

WebRTC, short for Web Real-time Communication, is an open-source technology with which developers provide web browsers, mobile apps, and connected devices with real-time video and audio communication capabilities. Owned by Google since 2010, WebRTC is considered the brainchild of Global IP Solutions, at the frontiers of videoconferencing and VoIP.

To put it in plain words, WebRTC enables peer-to-peer interaction between web or mobile browsers without the need for additional plugins, allows access to a device’s camera and microphone, and can stream files multimedia with less than half a second of lag. Various sources recognize it as the main act behind the media file transfer technology. It primarily finds application in team collaboration tools as well as audio and video conferencing

Reasons to use WebRTC?

  • Supported by all four major browsers: Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge, it is not restricted to any specific network
  • It functions as a client-side real-time media and thus can transfer data types other than media content.
  • WebRTC is designed with security in mind: using (DTLS) and Secure Real-Time Protocol (SRTP) to encrypt data sent between devices, it will also warn the computer user before using Ra : Due to its Web-related technology, it is much simpler to use for writing the client side of any application.
  • Developers can leverage the real-time communication engine to deliver other types of media content data.

How does WebRTC work?

For two users to initiate a communication session, their browsers must first find each other and then obtain the license to exchange multimedia data in real time. However, Network Access Translation (NAT) devices or firewalls create a block against the user’s smartphones or laptops, and therein lies the challenge.

These smartphones and laptops do not have static web addresses, unlike HTTPS websites whose location can be tracked by the Internet. WebRTC uses session traversal utilities for NAT servers (STUN) and relays around NAT servers (TURN), as well as signaling/communication protocols to establish a video or telephone call with a remote user on a home network .

C/C++ was once used for real-time communications before the advent of webRTC. This has led to the development of collaboration tools and custom conferencing to involve extended project times and greater costs. With its JavaScript API at the top of the stack, webRTC will save developers from having to go overboard in researching the tools used to build applications that interface with browsers.

How can WebRTC be integrated into IoT solutions?

Besides security tags and radar, WebRTC can add value to an RFID-based retail store security system. The solution can integrate an IP camera that closely inspects store activity and transmits real-time video data to a security officer’s PC via a web-based application.

When an unpaid item triggers the detectors, the manager can compare the warning signal to the video footage and the shoplifter

While the code package in the realm of WebRTC can be used when compiled to produce a peer-to-peer connection, devoid of an intermediate media server, WebRTC is a browser-centric technology. This implies that a majority of IoT Services and embedded systems do not support it right away.

His GStreamer might provide a fix. It works using a pipeline-based structure with flexible source code with which media streaming applications for PCs, networked devices and servers can be created.

Its feature set additionally gets a native WebRTC API. And it can be used much easier compared to official WebRTC native APIs

Functional elbows are called elements in GStreamer. They are separated into source elements that generate data and sink components that receive it.

Pads are the link between these elements and the outside world and can allow developers to link elements according to their abilities.

GStreamer also includes built-in synchronization techniques to ensure that audio and video samples play in the correct order at the correct time.

WebRTC and GStreamer: areas of application

A range of embedded developmentsProjects that can use GStreamer are described below

  • Smart monitoring Traditional corporate and public closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems have been around for a long time, but they are incapable of making independent decisions and require constant monitoring.
  • IP camera manufacturers can use WebRTC to apply video and audio enhancements to video streams, provide access to camera footage from outside the firewall network, and create custom intrusion or accident detection plugins , bringing camera intelligence further to the periphery
  • Shared Augmented Reality: A remote on-site expert inserts digital markers, diagrams and text into a common augmented reality space, and field workers can receive real-time instructions via a smart headset.
  • E-learning companies, beauty industry professionals, and retail brands aiming to personalize the consumer experience can all use a similar method.
  • Smart transportation:Through a combination of on-board cameras, other monitoring equipment and a high-frequency link to a nearby computer (or fleet dispatcher), an improved automotive navigation and driving experience can be created at using WebRTC.

The crux of the problem

More WebRTC-based related products, especially industrial systems for offsite equipment maintenance, smart home items, telemedicine applications, smart vehicles collecting real-time telemetry data, and wearable devices, will soon become visible. as GStreamer grows in popularity through its use by embedded software engineers.

Third-party developers can leverage the restful APIs to create integrated WebRTC-based communications, using sensor data from connected devices to generate alerts, voice calls, and video sessions.

WebRTC adds a new level of security to IoT applications and can be used as a secure data transmission channel. Finally, the technology is much more than just audio and video streaming. A live video stream can be offered by a WebRTC-based home security system, which in turn will use data from a connected lock to determine which door is open.

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