There are many different web api standards that are turning the web browser into a complete application platform. With websockets we get nice asynchronous communication, various standards allow us access to sensors in laptops and mobile devices and we can even determine how full the battery is. One of the standards I'm really interested in is webrtc. With webrtc we can get real-time audio and video communication between browsers without needing plugins or additional tools. A couple of months ago I wrote about how you can use webrtc to access the webcam and use it for face recognition. At that time, none of the browser allowed you to access the microphone. A couple of months later though, and both the developer version of firefox and developer version of chrome, allow you to access the microphone!
Via Nicolas Weil