LACOME : early evaluation and further development of a multi-user collaboration system for shared large displays

Russell MacKenzie
2010
Large screen displays are becoming more prevalent as their prices continue to fall. For these large screens, the paradigm of one-user-per-display begins to break down because there is adequate space and resolution for a variety of simultaneous content. LACOME, the Large Collaborative Meeting Environment, is a set of software tools that allow multiple users to simultaneously publish their personal computer displays onto a large shared display using any VNC server. Once published, windows or even
more » ... ed, windows or even full desktops can be moved, resized, and iconified; optionally, they may even be controlled by other users. LACOME is groupware: multiple users can interact with the shared display simultaneously. Our work focuses on enhancing the stability and usability of the LACOME system, which previously existed only as a rough, proof-of-concept prototype. The LACOME Server was originally developed using C++ on Linux. To simplify administration and provide cross-platform support, the LACOME Server is ported to Java. A new engine provides performance-guaranteed rendering. The secure transmission of VNC passwords is now supported using SSL, instead of relying on default passwords. Interactive widgets such as an IP address display and a 'Return to Desktop' button support usability. The LACOME Client has been converted into a JavaTM Web Start application, eliminating the need for installation or configuration by new users. Additionally, LACOME Client settings now persist across usage sessions and a new feature, "Publish Me," automatically determines the user's IP address to initiate a VNC connection. We also develop a new window manipulation technique, the Large Screen Optimized (LSO) technique, which features larger interaction handles. Clicking near the edge of a window 'snaps' the cursor precisely to the edge of that window, allowing a user to quickly place objects against the edges or corners of the screen. The addition of an explicit mode switch to take control of the contents of a window allows us to utilize the entire window area f [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0051950 fatcat:6z36qpixl5bple2jtpmriokyom