Brussels / 30 & 31 January 2016


Liberating communication with Matrix

Building an open ecosystem for real time communication that's as decentralised and successful as the Web.

Matrix is an open standard for open decentralised real-time communication using simple HTTP APIs and WebRTC, providing fully decentralised communication history with cryptographic integrity and no single point of control over any given conversation. Since our debut at FOSDEM 2015, the project has grown significantly as we've added end-to-end encryption, glossy clients, read receipts, WebRTC conferencing, and built bridges and integrations with a huge range of existing communication networks. This talk discusses the challenges we've hit along the way, and updates the FOSDEM community on how our mission is progressing!

Today, most commonly used VoIP and instant messaging apps do not interoperate, and all your data is stored in each service, locking in users and fragmenting their conversations and contacts between different vendors. In the Matrix ecosystem, anyone can run a server (called a "homeserver"), and a communication room is owned by all the homeservers participating in that room.

Users can communicate via any client or service that understands the Matrix protocol; we provide open source implementations for web and mobile, and members of the community have written many other open source clients in languages ranging from QML to Emacs. We have also written bridges that enables a homeserver to connect to existing protocols such as IRC, XMPP or SIP, and solutions such as FreeSWITCH, Asterisk and even Lync.

In this session we will explain the design choices we made when creating Matrix, the challenges over the last year, and we will look at different clients and servers that have been implemented (both by ourselves and the community). We'll demo the latest features such as end-to-end encryption and video conferencing, and show how Matrix is a viable option for all your open realtime communication needs!


Photo of Matthew Hodgson Matthew Hodgson