Google+ Hangout: The New Video Conferencing Solution

What is Google+?

Google+ is a social networking site project by Google Incorporated. Google developed this project to challenge the world’s leading social networking site: Facebook. Google+ has four main features known as sparks, circles, huddle and hangout. Hangout allows video conferencing among group of people.

Google+ Hangout

In order to support Google+ Hangout, an all new, standard based cloud video conferencing platform was created by Google. This platform is known to combine low latency, high quality, and strong security with the ease and comfort if using it via the web. Because of the efficiency of this platform, Google was able to deliver a leading video conferencing experience at Google scale.

Technical aspects of Google+ Hangout

Google+ Hangout is a fully browser based or cloud based technology. This project leverages the power of Google’s infrastructure and is designed for low latency (les than 100 ms) and high performance (hardware acceleration + multicore). Google+ Hangout is standard-based (SRTP, STUN, RTP, ICE, Jingle, XMPP). Aside from that, this technology is fully encrypted (SRTP and HTTPS).

Hangout requires the same plugin which is used for video and voice chat of Google Talk. However, Google is working it out to be able to stand alone without the use of any plugin. This can be done via a new framework for communications dubbed WebRTC that the company-open sourced in May. Mozilla and Opera support WebRTC in which Google started to integrate the framework to its own Chrome browser. In view of this fact, users won’t need the plugin anymore to use Google talk and the same will be true for Hangout.

Capabilities of Hangout

Users of Google+ Hangout are limited as of now into 10 participants. It is not compatible on mobile devices yet. Hangout is created by one person but everyone in Hangout can add or invite people. Every hangout has a specific URL in which can be used to invite others. Hangout also allows users to watch YouTube videos together with your friends and family.

In order to facilitate video chats, Google Talk and Hangout currently use the technology in which Google is licensing from Vidyo. The video is transmitted with H.264/AVC and H.263 in H.264/SVC which was being used as fallback solutions.

Hangout Device Integration

Google+ Hangout’s upcoming browser integration and cloud based architecture will make it possible to deliver optimized group video conferencing via different devices. Desktop users can view the video in high definition while mobile devices optimized streams in order to deal with bandwidth issues.

The New Telepresence Solution

Google+ Hangout has been predicted by many experts to be the new, leading telepresence solution in the future. The system is easy to use and completely free. Aside from the cost, a good video conferencing experience is also provided because it harnesses the power of Google’s infrastructures.