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Say Goodbye To Plug-ins. New Codec Could Change Streaming As We Know It

Mozilla, in partnership with OTOY (a cloud-based 3D graphics rendering firm) has developed a new codec; ORBX.js. What makes it newsworthy?  The fact that it could just change the way businesses interact with the cloud and, how video is viewed online. 


Image source flickr

A New Codec

Here’s a quick tutorial for those not-in-the-know; a codec is a device or computer program that is able to encode (or decode) a data signal or digital stream. Essentially the program can encode data in order to stream it, store it or encrypt it. It also decodes data, allowing it to be played back or edited.

The ORBX.js codec was recently quietly released but bodes big changes for the entire industry. 

Why It’s Cool

According to Brian Proffitt, writing for ReadWrite.com, the codec; “was originally designed to allow for the playback of videos on HTML5 pages within a browser without plug-ins”. What all of this means is that the codec enables the streaming of high-end desktop applications like Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Autodesk 3ds Max 2014 without plug-ins or native code extensions. It also means that viewers can now watch video without plug-ins like Flash or QuickTime. 

According to a press release by OTOY the codec also enables Windows, Linux or Mac OSX apps to be virtualized in the cloud.

Jules Urbach, OTOY founder and CEO, explained that; “Pure HTML5 is the only platform that universally delivers media and applications to every Internet connected device. We’ve found a way to provide a full native PC experience entirely through HTML5 and JavaScript, without having to touch H.264, Flash, Java, or Google Native  Client. It’s a huge win for the open Web and we expect HTML5 to replace legacy operating systems on desktops, TVs, consoles and mobile devices”.

TheNextWeb points out that the technology “should enable low-end machines and mobile devices to access professional and industry standard software without a hitch. After all, HTML 5 is currently supported by all of the most popular browsers at the moment, including Chrome, Safari and Firefox”.

Desktops Hosted on the Cloud

All of this is great news for businesses as the fact that the codec will allow users to stream desktop applications means that businesses can place their company server, desktop etc on the cloud; which users can then access anywhere, from any device.

Sound cool? It is; all a user will need is a decent screen and an interface with which to connect to applications. Proffitt points out that this could mean that a business’s entire environment could be hosted in the cloud with employees able to access it from any device – be it a PC, laptop, smart phone or tablet – from any location as the apps and data would always be available.

No More DRM

The codec’s creators believe that it could also spell the end for DRM (Digital Rights Management) in games and movies with HTML5 watermarking as the watermark can now be delivered through the cloud instead. All of which means; that those annoying browser plug-ins could become redundant.

Like it or not, the cloud seems to be the way of the future and any codec or system that makes it easier to use in more places, more of the time is bound to be a huge success.

Pippa Green is a London-based blogger who regularly writes about new tech and online developments. She’s currently trying out the Nasstar virtual desktop.

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