Mozilla is extending its relationship with Telefonica by making it easier than ever to communicate on the Web.
Telefónica has been an invaluable partner in helping Mozilla develop and bring Firefox OS to market with 12 devices now available in 24 countries. We’re now expanding our relationship, exploring how to simplify communications over the Web by providing people with the first global communications system built directly into a browser.
There are many free communications services, but you have to register for an account and also give up your personal information in exchange for the right to use them. Our experiment in Firefox Beta requires none of this. It makes it simple to communicate with your friends and family because you don’t have to sign-up for a service, or have the same browser, software or hardware as the person you want to call.
We named this feature Firefox Hello and it overcomes the restrictions of other communications services by using Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC) technology, which is compatible with many modern browsers. There are many WebRTC-based communications systems, but few so readily available to hundreds of millions of users. We’re able to scale up our service to this level thanks to the use of the OpenTok real time communications platform from TokBox, a Telefónica company.
So how does it work?
Firefox Hello enables anyone with a Firefox browser to make free voice and video calls without having to download software, plugins or even create an account. It’s ready to go as soon as you open Firefox Beta by clicking on the ‘chat bubble’ icon inside the customization menu. Hello allows you to connect with anyone who has a WebRTC-enabled browser, such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera.
Firefox Beta users will be seeing Hello appear over the next few weeks, as we slowly roll it out. Please test it and let us know what you think at the end of your call, we’re excited to hear your feedback.