Firefox Hello to allow screen sharing on video calls (Wired UK)


Mozilla


Mozilla‘s
Skype-like in-browser service, Firefox Hello, is on the
verge of evolving into something far more exciting. In a few weeks
Firefox Hello will launch an update that will allow you to share
the information you are looking at in a window during a video
call.

Together with Telefonica, Mozilla launched the service into the
Firefox browser in October 2014. It allows people to share a URL,
which opens a room and allows people to have a Skype-like
conversation within the browser in order to simplify the
connection. It has been in beta for the last few months and went
live to everyone a few weeks ago.

“The consumer reaction to that is actually very positive,”
Telefonica’s Oli White tells WIRED.co.uk. People don’t necessarily
want to have to share a Skype ID or an email address to try and set
up a conversation, he added. “A lot of it is about simplifying the
way you can connect.”

The system is built on top of a platform called TokBox, which
had been acquired by Telefonica. Conversations are secure
peer-to-peer as they go through the encrypted WebRTC standard and
they aren’t stored. Despite this, you can go back and reuse the
same anonymous URL again for another conversation, or just burn it
and generate a new one.

WIRED.co.uk saw a demo of the updated service, currently in
developer mode, at Mobile
World Congress
in Barcelona. The idea is that if you are doing
something such as booking a holiday with a friend, rather than
sending links through to them, you can share what you are looking
at in real time and discuss it at simultaneously over video
call.

Firefox Hello does not even require the other person to be using
Firefox — it is compatible with multiple other browsers. It does
work best, however, in Firefox and Chrome.

Already the team is thinking ahead to the next generation of the
service and has seen some demand for a co-browsing experience in
which both parties would be able to control the content in the room
simultaneously. Of course, Mozilla is also keeping a very close eye
on mobile.

“It goes back to the point that what we’re doing is not creating
a new behaviour, what we’re trying to do is simplify something that
is quite fragmented today,” says White.

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6 March 2015 | 3:02 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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