Collaborative Web Browsing: Multiple Users, Multiple Pages, Concurrent Access, One Display

TitleCollaborative Web Browsing: Multiple Users, Multiple Pages, Concurrent Access, One Display
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSchmid, O, Masson, ALisowska, Hirsbrunner, B
Conference NameProceedings of the 4th ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-1168-7
Keywordscollaboration, simultaneous multi-user web browsing, web proxy

Situations where users want to engage in collaborative web browsing are becoming increasingly common. However, current web technologies aren't designed to allow multiple users to browse the web simultaneously within a single common browser or application since they are unable to handle issues such as simultaneous access by multiple pointers, and multiple simultaneous points of focus within an application. The web-based solution that we propose is an implementation of a forward proxy that injects third-party web pages with specialized JavaScript that provides the aforementioned functionalities transparently, without affecting the original third-party web pages, and thus effectively extending them for collaborative web browsing scenarios. Moreover, our solution provides functionalities for cloning web screens to encourage awareness of the browsing activities of collaborators, and does not require any configuration or software installation on web-enabled client devices, allowing for easy walk-up-and-use interaction.