Ericsson Delivers WebRTC-Based Development Platform

Ericsson announced a new Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC) development platform that enables any device to be reached by an existing mobile number.

Ericsson has announced a new Web development platform that will enable any connected device to be turned into an always-open communications device.

The company's new IP Multimedia Subsystem- (IMS-) based "Web Real Time Communications" (WebRTC) platform enables the development of Web applications that will expand the ecosystem for enterprises and consumers.

By enabling any device to be reached by an existing mobile number, developers are empowered to reinvent existing communication services, create completely new communication paradigms and allow customers to receive increased value from their mobile service, Ericsson officials said.

WebRTC is an open industry project, which aims to provide real-time communication capabilities (for voice/video types of services) natively in browser environments. WebRTC standardizes how to set up a media connection between two clients (no need for download of specific software as the media parts are provided by the browser) and provides developer access via JavaScript API's to simplify creation of multimedia services.

Ericsson provides products and solutions to use WebRTC technology for Web-based clients to connect to operators' telecom environment both for Web-to-Web communication as well as for Web-to-IMS or legacy interworking.

At the AT&T Developer Summit recently held in Las Vegas, AT&T announced its Call Management API powered by Ericsson's new IMS Innovation Platform, which is now in the alpha phase. Additionally, developers were invited to a Hackathon Jan. 5 and 6 to compete for prizes, while using the AT&T Call Management API to invent new applications and services during a 30-hour race for innovation.

The Hackathon prizes, offered by AT&T, totaled $200,000. The first-place overall prize, $30,000, was awarded to Ruggero Scorcioni for the call-management app "Good Times," which uses a headset to read brainwaves. If the user has very busy brainwaves, the "Good Times" app informs callers that it's better to call back at another time.

Ericsson officials said the contest indicates that more innovation is happening in communication today than has happened in the previous 30 years. Relevance and simplicity are key elements to success in this space, they added. By developing this new platform, Ericsson is allowing developers to unleash their creativity for new applications that will no longer be limited by the technology platforms they are built upon, the company said.

"Developers will take the concept of the existing phone call, see it as a digital stream and innovate accordingly," Geoff Hollingworth, head of business innovation at Ericsson North America, said in a statement. "Recording, transcribing, contextualizing, translating, on any connected device, using people's existing phone number—all are just the beginnings of possibility."

The AT&T Hackathon was designed for both technical and nontechnical attendees to build mobile apps in a fun, competitive atmosphere. Participants learned about the latest cutting-edge tools to build or deploy a mobile app natively or with a Website backend, fully hosted in the cloud. The AT&T Developer Summit took place just before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The company claims the AT&T Developer Program is the longest-standing U.S. wireless carrier developer program. Evans Data Corp. has ranked the initiative, which has a membership of more than 28,000 active developers, the best developer program among all U.S. carriers for the sixth consecutive year.

Key developer program highlights include the newly launched AT&T API Platform, including access to the AT&T Speech API, powered by the AT&T WATSON speech-transcription engine. Other benefits include access to software development kits and device specifications; developer support through blogs, forums and webcasts; and numerous developer-focused hackathons and training events throughout the year.