Co-browsing and future of CAD design collaboration?

Co-browsing and future of CAD design collaboration?

Experience. We love this word nowadays. I can hear many discussions about “experience” these days. The last five years of computing and web shown that “experience” is actually very important. The examples are going from iPod and mobile devices to complex web sites and social networks. CAD / PLM companies are also thinking about “experience”. Earlier this year, Siemens PLM announced about the re-inventing of PLM experience with HD PLM. Few weeks ago, Dassault System announced about the new vision called 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

However, I want to steer your attention in a bit different topic – co-browsing user experience. If you haven’t heard about that, navigate to the following link to learn more.

Co-browsing, in the context of web browsing, is the joint navigation through the Internet by two or more people accessing the same web pages at the same time. Early co-browsing was achieved by local execution of software that had to be installed on the computer of each participant. More advanced tools didn’t have to be installed, but still required local execution of software or at least web-browser plug-ins, extensions, or applets. Most tools were limited to a single user that was able to navigate, while the others could only watch.

I read an interesting announcement earlier today: is acquiring GoInstant – startup developed a platform for shared  co-browsing. No plug-ins, installations, working within the browser. On the following video, you can see how two people are working with co-browsing inside of Google+ Hangout.

GoInstant blog brings the following article – 7 ways to use co-browsing technology. One of them is collaboration. Here is a very interesting passage:

Collaboration. When collaborating on a website or web application, co-browsing makes it a more seamless experience because there’s no passing of control back and forth between participants. Everyone is able to engage in real-time and interact through the co-browse session.

Now just think about CAD instead of Google+ Hangout. The idea of co-browsing made me think about a potentially interesting value it can bring in improving collaboration. Imaging similar video to what you see above, but with CAD application showing multiple cursors from of different users working on the same design. The cloud future can be bright as well – the combination of CAD with co-browsing can give an additional level of simplification.

What is my conclusion? I think the idea of collaborative browsing can “hold the water”. How many times you worked with shared screen on your computer? I did it many times. To have multiple engineers working on the same design can be an interesting option in your future CAD application in the browser. What is your take? Speak your mind…

Best, Oleg



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