WebRTC Use Cases 001- Education

Miljul (www.miljul.in) launched the beta release on Thursday, March 12. It has been almost a week (500+ video calls so far) and we received some positive feedback as well as suggestions for improvement. Thanks a lot and keep the feedback coming !

A few well-wishers asked us about  our passion for WebRTC and Internet of Things (IoT), and why we are betting on the transformative potential of WebRTC in various verticals. This is the first post in what would hopefully become a series of posts, with users contributing ideas and asking questions below the line.

Let us get started then . I quote a Telecom industry web site (www.lightreading.com) on the definition of WebRTC: “WebRTC is an open-source project started by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that enables developers to embed peer-to-peer real-time communications capabilities into supported web browsers. The standard, though not finalized yet, uses a JavaScript application program interface (API), which means that anyone can launch a voice and video-calling feature that works on the desktop and mobile web. Many pundits have called it the biggest innovation in communications since VoIP.”

Around 50+ use cases have been identified, being piloted or even being delivered commercially to consumers and enterprises using WebRTC. The most obvious use case is what Miljul has started with – video calls for small groups of people ( with chat and screen sharing as added features).

What comes to mind immediately is the potential here for online, real time learning. Imagine a scenario where a parent wants high quality home tuitions (or ‘after school learning’ to use the industry term) but the preferred teacher is unable to travel all the way to the student’s home. Using Miljul, the teacher can explain the concepts via video call and do screen sharing to enhance the learning. We can add a white board and a file transfer feature to the tool, and even a payment gateway service. Imagine then a market place where one can search and find the right kind of teacher. And this need not be limited to school and college syllabus. It could work well for technical trainings, cookery and yoga classes, and what I personally love to see – learning music online.

Online Teaching

Today, looking at the Indian market, we do have a few websites that offer a market place for teachers. Some of them offer an online learning option. However, it requires expensive infrastructure for the company delivering the service, and also installing a software on the student’s and teacher’s PCs. We are just beginning to see people trying out WebRTC in the education sphere. We at Miljul do believe there is a huge potential to take specialized coaching, technical training to remote areas. We are at the beginning of our journey, but the tools are all in place to build an online education center that would deliver ‘access to high quality learning’ at the finger tips of consumers. The rider is the availability of bandwidth in rural areas. And every day, we hear of improvement in the bandwidth availability across the country, even in the remotest areas. For WebRTC to work well, it would require a minimum of 256-512 Kbps connectivity, and surely, it is easier for the public and private sectors to invest in the infrastructure, than expecting live video streaming at less than 128 Kbps?

So, it is only a matter of time, maybe 2-3 years from now, when a woman in Bangalore can teach creative writing to someone from Jhumritalaiya. Or a Sanskrit pandit from a village near Shimoga can explain the intricacies of Krishna Yajurveda to an NRI from Boston. In real time. Within a context (domain-specific tools). And at no extra cost than what you pay for internet connectivity.

Please respond with your questions or comments. In each post under this series, we will discuss a specific use case for WebRTC.

Meanwhile, don’t put off talking to that friend face to face. Enough of pinging on FB or WhatsApp. Get into Miljul, do a video call and talk about ‘those were the best days of our lives’.

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