Clubhouse has hired Justin Uberti, the creator of the WebRTC standard and the Google Duo video chat app. He is leaving Google after nearly 15 years with the company, where he was most recently the technical leader of Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service and led the team that created the Stadia iOS web app.
“Justin is a phenomenal technical leader and one of the original inventors of WebRTC, on which Clubhouse is built,” Clubhouse co-founder and CTO Rohan Seth said in a statement. “There is so much to creating a great audio experience – the quality, the latency, the ability to use spatial distance when multiple speakers are talking. This will be a critical area of investment for us as we open Clubhouse to the world, and Justin, among other things, will help lead that effort. “
Uberti’s title will be head of streaming technology, a clubhouse spokesperson said The edge.
“I am really optimistic about the potential [of Clubhouse]: Everyone in the world knows how to use speech, it’s such an expressive medium (compared to text), and advancements like AirPods make it easier to consume audio, “Uberti said at the end of a Twitter thread discussing the move.
WebRTC is one open source project which allows developers to add real-time communication (RTC) features to applications, and it works on modern browsers and is supported by many native apps. The fact that Discord can drop you directly into a browser voice chat? WebRTC helps with this. And if you’ve used Clubhouse, you’ve probably experienced how easy it is to hop in and out of audio rooms on the fly – that’s powered by WebRTC too. (Uberti praised Clubhouse as one “Great Example” of a new RTC use case.)
Since Clubhouse appears to be competing with social audio products from larger companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Discord, and even Microsoft’s LinkedIn, hiring the creator of a major technology to support its app could give Clubhouse an advantage in an increasingly crowded field.
In addition to Stadia and Duo, Uberti was also key in the development of Google Hangouts Video and was the lead architect for AOL Instant Messenger, according to his LinkedIn.