Uffe Björklund, one of the founders of XSockets.NET told me, "We are consultants and XSockets.NET is a sparetime project that we have invested about 8000 hours into. Browsermeeting is an implementation on XSockets.NET. XSockets.NET has previous been targeting realtime communication but mainly websockets (and fallback for it). Since we consider XSockets.NET to be a mature realtime communication platform we also implemented WebRTC into it. A big reason to why we are doing this is our love for technology and also the good feeling of pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a browser. Never the less we would of course love to monetize on what we love to do!"
I asked Uffe to explain XSockets. Uffe said, "XSockets allows websockets (it's one of the built-in protocols), but any device that talks TCP/IP can interact with XSockets. We have used XSockets with Kinect cameras, NetDuinos, From with in compiler trigger and stored procedures, from Powershell etc."
I asked Uffe about screen sharing support last month and he said, "We have talked about screen sharing and that we would implement it as soon as Chrome (and the others) supports it. I think that Chrome 25 will have support for screensharing/tabsharing with WebRTC.(http://updates.html5rocks.com/2012/12/Screensharing-with-WebRTC). But real screensharing will also be included in the future as well as recording and other cool stuff."
Well, he reached out to me and told me that they have a working demo of screen sharing! So I decided to give it a go.
Steps to get it working:
- Install Google Canary (developer / bleeding edge release)
- Type this in Chrome URL: chrome://flags/
- Find 'Enable Screen Capture support in getUserMedia() and enable it:
- Relaunch Chrome Canary
- Go here: https://screensharing.azurewebsites.net/
- Click Screensharing button option
- You will then be given a 'unique' URL to give to others so they can see your screen. Type this URL on a 2nd PC.
- On both PCs you will see a small thumbnail which displays a real-time (small) view of the other PC's entire screen:
- Just hover your mouse over the thumbnail in right-hand corner to get option to go full screen.
Overall, the performance was decent, though it was compressed resulting in text and fonts not looking as sharp as I would like. It doesn't appear WebRTC is ready to replace paid solutions like WebEx or GoToMeeting just yet. If I was looking for a free screen sharing solution with video conferencing capabilities and high-quality video conferencing I'd consider using Watchitoo's free Playground web-based solution, which I reviewed. Still, WebRTC is new and Google very quickly removed my gripe about WebRTC only supporting tab-sharing, so I have high hopes for WebRTC.