The getUserMedia API used in Chrome Beta allows sites to create cool new experiences that weren’t previously possible in the browser.
Google has unveiled a new Chrome Beta release that enables you to grant web apps access to your computer’s camera and microphone without a separate plugin like Flash or Java.
For consumers it means a future of fun new web apps (think music creation, video chat and real-time audio communication) that make the most of their camera and microphone.
“This is thanks to the getUserMedia API, which is the first big step for WebRTC, a new real-time communications standard that aims to allow high-quality video and audio communication on the web,” explained Google Software Engineer Robert Toscano in a post on the Chrome blog.
Some examples of web apps that have been created with the getUserMedia API and WebRTC include a Magic Xylophone that can be played by waving your hands in front of the camera and a photo booth app called Webcam Toy that layers photographic filters over your image in real time.
Chrome 21 Beta also includes an improved Google Cloud Print experience that integrates your printers into Chrome’s print dialog.
If you want to try out the new apps before the next stable version of Chrome is released you can download the Chrome Beta from https://www.google.com/landing/chrome/beta/.