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Motivation and Goals


In the area of cooperation, there are already a number of solutions which allow users to share their web browser, single programs or even the whole desktop with others over the internet. Almost all of these solutions are fat client applications. However, if you want spontaneous co-browsing or instant customer support by your employees, this results in problems. Users have become reluctant to download and execute installers from sources unknown to them. Another problem of these solutions ist hat they don't support the use of mobile devices. Often, it is very difficult to install software from the web on these devices. Additionally, their small screen size requires special attention. Because of this, VCS uses an approach that enables co-browsing completely without the installation of software and adapted to the user's device.

Project Goals

The project's goal is to develop a co-browsing solution which is both device and platform independent. This goal is to be achieved by using a thin client approach that uses the existing functionality of the common browsers. The functionality of the system shouldn't be impacted by the user's firewall settings, too.
The co-browsing solution will enable users to view web pages together, fill forms, point at objects and communicate with each other. Beside plain co-browsing, adaptation is also an important aspect of the project. Users of mobile devices need variants that are adapted to their display size. Therefore, part of the project is the definition of a document format that has its roots in existing standards, but also enables the use of adaptation.

Research Challenges

Specification of an architecture for co-browsing on heterogeneous devices

Design of a document model for adaptive, collaborative web contents

Adaptation mechanisms for web contents in consideration of the collaboration aspect

Modelling and representation of user and group context

Synchronization of collaborative web sessions