Non profit organization Pleio was asked by a well-known government agency to look into setting up an own video call platform. A conscious decision was made not to use an existing video conferencing service, in particular because of privacy considerations and the wish to be independent of (American) tech giants.
Pleio first asked WonderBit to map out the possible solutions and to give advice on this. Subsequently, WonderBit started developing a peer-to-peer video call platform based on WebRTC. This is an open technology that allows real-time audio and video communication without the need to install additional software: Using a modern web browser is sufficient.
In July 2022, the first version of the platform was delivered which supported one-to-one video calls. The platform offers basic functions such as disabling and enabling the microphone and camera, switching hardware, sharing the screen, blurring the background and allowing the other participant to be accepted by the host. New features and enhancements to the platform are in preparation.
The video call platform is made available to more than hundred organizations of the Dutch national government, provinces and municipalities that use Pleio's software products. More than 575,000 unique visitors use this software every month.
This project makes a great contribution to Pleio's objective: to facilitate cooperation within and with the government!
Important to governmental organizations: The platform is fully compliant with the WCAG 2.1 AA digital accessibility guideline. This guideline defines how digital products can be made more accessible for people with a visual or hearing impairment. In particular, we addressed issues such as color contrast, font size, screen layout after zooming in and applying the WAI-ARIA specification correctly.
One of the components of a video call platform is a signaling server. This server merely coordinates the peer-to-peer connections of the parties in a video call and has no role in sending, receiving, encrypting or redirecting the media traffic itself.
In this project, the signaling server also manages participants and sends system messages between the peers.
ICE (Interactive Connectivity Establishment) is an IETF protocol that resolves connectivity issues in peer-to-peer communication sessions. Using STUN (Session Travel Utilities for NAT) and TURN (Traversal Using Relay around NAT), parties that are connected via a NAT (Network Address Translator) can still set up a peer-to-peer connection.
“WonderBit has delivered a beautiful, well-functioning and well-documented video calling platform. Pleio has found a solid and reliable development partner in WonderBit and we look forward to future projects that we will carry out together!”