This year’s Real Time Communications conference at the Illinois Institute of Technology will be a bit different. First, it’s not actually at IIT, rather will be completely online. Second, because it is online, all sessions will be free!

What’s better than free? How about high quality content from a very interesting lineup of speakers who are experts in WebRTC!

As the chair of the WebRTC & Real Time Applications track at the IIT RTC conference this year, I’m very pleased to share with you our initial list of speakers for the conference, which will be held on October 12-16, 2020. Registration will open soon so you can get your free ticket to see all the sessions on any of the conference tracks.  

Confirmed WebRTC Track Sessions (more to come!)

WebRTC Keynote: COVID19 and Video: Call Quality and Scalability from the Trenches

Emil Ivov, Varun Singh, and Saúl Ibarra Corretgé from 8×8 (Jitsi and

During 2020, millions of people around the world have experienced an unprecedented change in their daily routines due to the global pandemic caused by the novel COVID-19 virus. This created a large increase in remote work and video calls. In this keynote, the Jitsi and teams will jointly present on the impact of Shelter-in-Place mandates on video call quality and what they learned about scaling video solutions.

Varun Singh will present data from millions of video and audio calls in over 1000 WebRTC apps to help paint a picture of some of the changes to usage and call quality between Jan 1 to April 30, from large cities in Continental North America, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the East and West Coasts of the United States. Emil Ivov and Saúl Ibarra Corretgé will also tell the story of how a small but highly motivated team took on the challenges of 2020 and managed to accomplish their mission of providing the best meeting experience to an unprecedented amount of people. Saúl will share the lessons they learned the hard way, on how they achieved the level of scalability required, while being able to iterate fast on the features that were most needed.

TADHack Global Hackathon Results

Alan Quayle, TADHack

The weekend before the IIT RTC Conference is the largest Real Time Communications hackathon in the world. For 7 years straight, the IIT and the Chicago developer community have been part of TADHack. We’ll share the results of interesting hacks from Chicago and beyond showing how real time communications can solve problems across our home, work and community lives.

What’s New In WebRTC

Bernard Aboba, Microsoft

This talk will go over new developments in realtime communications for the Web, including the QuicTransport, Insertable Streams, WebRTC-SVC and Content-Hints APIs.

Building Dana The Stream Gatekeeper

Dan Jenkins, nimbleApe

The problem with great WebRTC projects is always the lack of great front-end projects to show off their capabilities. Jitsi has Jitsi Meet, but other projects are usually lacking when it comes to showing off what they can do to others. Asterisk had this problem with their SFU; with their”Cyber Mega Phone 2000″ project being a little bit of an eyesore, with users unable to go build off it. In comes “Dana – The Stream Gatekeeper” project – something to show off Asterisk’s capabilities – not just a WebRTC front-end, but a complete application to help show off Open Source comms – including live Transcription. In this session, Dan will show you the project and how you can take it and build off it.

Real-Time Av1: The Dawn of High-Quality, Secure, Aelf-adaptive Video in WebRTC

Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CoSMo Software

For a very long time, WebRTC has mainly been used in the Video conferencing industry and for p2p applications. It was missing some of the features the streaming industry had become accustomed to: ABR, high-resolution (4k@60fps, HDR, 4:4:4 chroma sampling, 12bits colors, no bandwidth limit. In comparison, the implementation of the webrtc protocol in browsers, which was used as a base for comparison was limited to 2 Mbps per stream, leading to compromises on quality: 1080p@30, 4:2:0, 8bits colors. ABR was not available, DRM or content protection was not available, and so on and so for.

This talk will show how real-time AV1 is bridging the gap with usual streaming while keeping the real-time latency profile. ABR 2.0, E2EE for finer granularity DRM, 4k 4:4:4 HDR 10bits streams encodable in real-time on commodity consumer-grade PCs and laptop, everything will be presented, and comparison with other codecs all run in the same condition (i.e.) real-time mode over RTP media transport, will be provided, answering the usual questions: how much bandwidth can I save for same-resolution/same-quality? How much more taxing is the encoding compared to VP9, H264 software, and H264 Hardware?

Finally, an update on the status of HW support for AV1 will be presented.

Can SFUs and MCUs Be Friends?

Lorenzo Miniero, Meetecho

When talking about videoconferencing, there are usually two different roads you can take: you can either use an SFU (Selective Forwarding Unit) and have all media relayed as it is with no transcoding, or use an MCU (Multipoint Control Unit) instead to decode all streams and encode a composed mix of all the contributions. Both approaches have pros and cons, so picking one over the other is usually a matter of trade-off.

It’s not always a binary matter, though: as a matter of fact, there are actually many cases where using both in an orthogonal way may make a lot of sense, in order to have one complement the shortcomings of the other, or extend the functionality you can get out of either when used on their own. This presentation will try to present some of these use cases, to show how SFUs and MCUs can actually be good friends, rather than strict and exclusive alternatives.

Pion: Solving Production RTC Problems with Composable Open Source Go Libraries

Sean DuBois, Pion

Pion is used for all the traditional RTC problems (SFUs, Protocol Bridging, Clients). Instead let’s talk about the unique production problems it is solving. Come learn why Pion is the software for large scale broadcasting, self driving cars and robots. This is what developers do when real world constraints hit. We are going to talk about problems like modifying ICE so you can massively scale servers, replacing DTLS (without any code modifications) to pass security reviews, using Go code on Android/iOS/Servers/Desktops and Web with one code base, attempting to build the first ‘Cloud Native’ WebRTC deployment, and integrating with other great Go libraries with zero glue code.

At the end we will have a tour of popular Open Source projects using Pion to let people like live gaming streams, synchronized browsing sessions to watch videos with friends, sharing files across Native/Web with no backend, and seed and download WebTorrents.

More excellent sessions and speakers to be announced soon! is proud to sponsor the WebRTC track this year, and I’m personally pleased to chair the track again. While this year’s conference will certainly be different, I think it presents a wonderful opportunity to expand our audience (it is free!) as well as our slate of presenters (no travel time or expense!) There are so many interesting stories to tell in 2020 about WebRTC and how the pandemic has affected our industry – we look forward to sharing them with you.

Would you like to submit a talk for the conference? We are still considering a few additional speaking slots. You can submit your non-commercial, technical presentation on WebRTC and Real-Time Applications here. Sessions this year will be 20 minutes long, with separate Q&A sessions for speakers. We are finalizing the exact schedule but everything will be online, with most of the WebRTC talks on Wednesday, October 14th.

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