Collaborative and interactive information technologies are critical to
modern research and learning, but the science of how to build systems that
link people together to work effectively is still in its infancy. CoLab
represents the beginning of a facility to study how people teach, learn
and work together using technology , whether located face-to-face or via
the Internet. Participants can use a combination of state of the art
shared interactive screens, multimedia conferencing, wireless handheld devices,
standard computers and paper-based tools. What we learn about how these
systems enable, impede and reform collaboration in different contexts will
inform the next generation of information technology.
We are demonstrating three specific technologies that highlight the state
of the art in technology-mediated collaboration and the sharing of complex
"The Access Grid (AG) is the ensemble of resources that can be used to support human interaction across the grid. It consists of multimedia display, presentation and interactions environments, interfaces to grid middleware,and interfaces to visualization environments. It supports large-scale distributed meetings, collaborative work sessions, seminars, lectures, tutorials and training. The Access Grid design point is group to group communication (thus differentiating it from desktop to desktop based tools that focus on individual communication). The Access Grid environment enables both formal and informal group interactions. Large-format displays integrated with intelligent or active meeting rooms are a central feature of the Access Grid nodes. Access Grid nodes are "designed spaces" that explicitly contain the high-end audio and visual technology needed to provide a high-quality compelling user experience." (From http://www.accessgrid.org/.)The AccessGrid is one of the core technology platforms planned for the collaboration infrastructure of WestGrid. While it represents substantial achievement in its ability to link together many groups of users in different situations, it is still time consuming to configure, and limited in the richness of information and presence it can convey, due largely to the inherent limitations of video (the "talking head" phenomenon) and to the amount of bandwidth seamless video requrires.
Lyn Bartram - email@example.com - Colligo and CoLab HCI Designer
Jen Chang - firstname.lastname@example.org - CoLab and CECM Manager