Remote Collaboration with Network Flick

The SynergyNet framework, originally developed by the TEL-lab, has long supported a feature known as network flick. This feature allows for content to be passed between interfaces with an intuitive gesture, as shown in the video below.

Network flick has previously found little use due to the transferal of materials being controlled by teachers in past studies using SynergyNet. However, a recent study carried out by the DU-TEL-SIG, collaborating with members of Cardiff Metropolitan University, focused on allowing students to control the transferal of materials between interfaces.

Previously, SynergyNet’s network capabilities could only function over a local network. This meant that the table-top interfaces used in studies were often co-located in the same environment. However, this recent study brought about changes to the SynergyNet framework that now allow it to function across the internet. This has allowed for materials to be transferred between instances of the framework in remote locations.

The study focused on connecting two classrooms situated about 300 miles apart through SynergyNet and video conferencing software. Groups of students in both classrooms were asked to work together with the other group to complete a task by communicating through the video conferencing software and passing materials to each other via SynergyNet’s network flick.

News on publications relating to the methodology and findings of this study will made available on this site in the near future.

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