Firefox Hello is a web-based video conferencing service, implemented using WebRTC, in a browser-agnostic way.
All you need to get started is the latest version of Firefox. You don't need additional software or sign in to any account either (I love this part). Just start a conversation, share the conversation link with other participants and you are good to go!
Locate the Firefox Hello button on your toolbar. If you don't see the button:
- Click the Menu button at the top right of your browser (it looks like a stack of three horizonatal lines);
- Click Customize to open Firefox's additional tools and features
- Drag the Hello icon to your toolbar or menu
- Click Exit Customize to finish the operation.
The participants don't even need Firefox to join the conversation, as long as they have a compatible browser. Any browser which supports WebRTC is acceptable (warning: IE rant ahead :P ), which of course, rules out Internet Explorer, even IE 11. You do need Firefox to initiate a conversation.
I am gonna give it a spin later tonight when I video chat with my parents. Trying to run Skype on low-memory mobile devices has turned out to be an exercise in futility. I expect Hello to fill the void.
It will be quite a while before Hello poses a serious threat to Skype. However, an account-less, no-download-needed video chat, built entirely on open standards (this can't be stressed enough!) is definitely gonna turn heads.
What is WebRTC?
WebRTC is a free, open project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs. The WebRTC components have been optimized to best serve this purpose. Read more at the WebRTC Project website.