Google adds cloud video calling to Chrome beta

Search giant to offer video conferencing and improved Google Cloud Print functionality in next browser release.

Google Chrome

Internet giant Google has revealed that the beta version of its Chrome browser will offer cloud-based video conferencing, without the need to download plugins.

The announcement was made via the Google Chrome Blog, following a demonstration at the Google I/O 2012 developer conference. The beta release also includes improvements to Google Cloud Print, with greater integration into the browser.

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"In [the] Chrome Beta release, it's now possible for you to grant web apps access to your camera and microphone right within the browser, without a plug-in," said the blog post.

"This is thanks to the getUserMedia API, which is the first big step for WebRTC, a new real-time communications standard that [will] allow high-quality video and audio communication on the web."

Chris Bunch, cloud leader at Google Apps reseller Cloudreach, welcomed the move.

"This is something Cloudreach has been encouraging for some time. Cloudreach, along with a number of our clients, already undertake collaborative video calling within the browser using Google+ Hangouts," Bunch told IT Pro.

"The product roadmap for Hangouts is not public, but it is clear that the current technology and the new WebRTC compliant features released in the Chrome beta provide solutions to similar technical challenges.

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"We suspect that WebRTC will form part of the Apps stack in the future."

The beta release of Chrome with these additional features is available to download via the Chrome beta website.

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