Wenzel, Matthias; Meinel, Christoph
Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE 20th International Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work in Design
Remote collaboration systems are a necessity for geographically dispersed teams in achieving a common goal. Realtime groupware systems frequently provide a shared workspace where users interact with shared artifacts. However, a shared workspace is often not enough for maintaining the awareness of other users. Video conferencing can create a visual context simplifying the user’s communication and understanding. In addition, flexible working modes and modern communication systems allow users to work at any time at any location. It is therefore desirable that a groupware system can run on users’ everyday devices, such as smartphones and tablets, in the same way as on traditional desktop hardware. We present a standards compliant, web browser-based realtime remote collaboration system that includes WebRTC-based video conferencing. It allows a full-body video setup where everyone can see what other participants are doing and where they are pointing in the shared workspace. In contrast to standard WebRTC’s peer-to-peer architecture, our system implements a star topology WebRTC video conferencing. In this way, our solution improves network bandwidth efficiency from a linear to a constant network upstream consumption.