Researchers from the College of William & Mary have developed real-time collaborative browsing (RCB) software that makes it easier for users to interact with each other while browsing the Web. Several ways of navigating the Internet collaboratively already exist, but all of them are limited in some way, such as not allowing users to browse together at the same time or limiting interactions on a single Web page.
Screen sharing can allow users to browse together as if sharing a single machine, but such programs usually require connecting to an outside server. William & Mary professor Haining Wang says that with RCB, only the person leading the session needs to have the browser extension installed, and all other users only need a standard Web browser. The leader uses RCB to generate a session URL that can be sent to other participants, who can click on the link to join up with the leader. Once connected, both users can interact with a Web page and follow links, with all actions being funneled through the host's browser. The host can add or remove participants as needed, connecting up to 10 participants without a significant drop in performance, though the researchers say RCB works best between two people.
RCB is not yet available to the public, but the researchers recently presented their work at the Usenix Technical Conference.
From Technology Review
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