VoIP in Flash? Now That’s Hot!
I always feel like I'm one of the last people to blog about these things. Probably because I'm on the west coast and I typically start my day later than most of you out there. Oh well, I guess I can't be on top of everything.
Nearly everyone out there has a copy of
Macromedia Adobe Flash installed in their web browser. Why not? It works on nearly every web browser out there. Microsoft distributes it as part of Internet Explorer. Heck, they have a flash client on mobile phones. Flash is everywhere.
Uber-reporter and NDA-voider Om Malik breaks the news on the fact that Abobe is working on adding SIP as well as peer-to-peer functionality inside of Flash. Tom Keating had interviewed someone at Adobe about this very thing and was very happy that Om had made the story public. Alec, Ken, and Andy also weign in on this topic.
Getting SIP and all of the related technology into Flash is going to be a huge technical challenge. Making the SIP compatible with the wide range of SIP implementations will also be a challenge. The technical challenge here is in the underlying OS, namely making it work the same way across all the supported platforms, particularly under Linux. I'm guessing Linux will get the functionality at least two years after it shows up on Windows, if the current experience with Flash 9 is any indication.
It does give a new meaning to the phrase click-to-call. You're on a web site? Want to call the website operator? Click, and without installing any additional software, you can be talking over VoIP from a softphone embedded in a flash applet.
Another challenge they will have to overcome is NAT traversal. Perhaps they can do exactly what the Abbeyphone folks do for their Firefox plugin or come up with something even more clever. Making NAT traversal work with p2p is going to be a fun task as well.
I'm looking forward to seeing this product and putting it through it's paces.