Nokia Easy Meet – A Mobile Collaboration Prototype

Fresh out of the Nokia BetaLabs comes Nokia Easy Meet, a web browser based mobile collaboration prototype. Great, I use online collaboration with conference calls and slide sharing a lot in my daily work but my solution (Centra) is purely PC based and does not allow sharing content with mobile devices. So I checked out Nokia's prototype application for the purpose.

The first good thing: No software installation is required on the PC or the mobile phone, everything works via a PC or mobile browser that supports JavaScript such as the S60 web browser on my N95. The list of collaboration utilities running directly in the browser looks quite impressive:

  • File Sharing, supporting Power Point, JPEG and PNG
  • Chat
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Whiteboard
  • Gesturing
  • File Downloads
  • Participant Awareness
  • Remote Content Access (OVI Files).
  • One click to join a conference, including voice conference

In practice, it works as follows: As a collaboration conference initiator you need to register with the service, either from the PC or the mobile phone. In fact, everything can be done on both the mobile and PC, although it's a bit more comfortable to use the PC for getting started.

Once registered, setting up a meeting is simple. Enter time, date, participant e-mail address or phone numbers and upload pictures or power point presentations. Once done, participants get an e-mail or SMS with a link to join the meeting. Invited guests do not have to register and just have to type in their name so they can be seen in the status window of the conference. Once they have joined the conference, they can immediately see the shared content such as pictures, presentations and so on.

On the PC, the presentation section can be seen alongside the other windows for instant messaging between participants, a presence window to see who's currently online, a window showing the different pages / images available for sharing, etc.

When changing from one page / image to the next, it appears quite quickly on the screens of other participants, even on the mobile. Very nice push technology. Same for IM messages, distribution is quite quick. The whiteboard function allows to draw lines in the main presentation window, e.g. to highlight a part of the presentation and changes are also distributed within a few seconds.

As it is still a research protoype, the graphical design of the solution, especially on the PC, is still a bit rough, but that's just that, the technology itself works very nicely and use is straight forward and quite simple to master.

From a conceptual point of view, the biggest issue in my eyes is to make both PC users and mobile users happy with what they see in the main presentation window. For my test, I used a screenshot image with tiny fonts, which are not shown very well on both the PC and the mobile. While much bigger on the PC, the text could still not be read. So for collaboration it's probably best to use power point presentations with big text or pictures without too much tiny content. For the mobile device, a zoom function for the main screen might be something that could help, but I think that would push the processing power of current S60 phones a bit too hard. But as processors become faster, screen resolution increases and screen sizes become bigger, there's a good chance that we are moving closer to a sweet spot where the presentation can be shown in a good resolution in a PC browser and an acceptable quality on the mobile device supported by an intelligent zoom function.

The main function missing in the prototype is a voice conference bridge. However, I can very well envison that this functionality can be added in the future, too. In summary, I am very impressed with what can be done with JavaScript in a (mobile) browser today. A great prototype and we will hopefully see it become a cool product in the future!

3 thoughts on “Nokia Easy Meet – A Mobile Collaboration Prototype”

  1. Hi,

    We currently do have the voice conference capability. THe way it works is during the conference creation phase you supply the access number and conference-id and/or PIN. Then during the conference on the conference page, you just have to click on the voice call button and it directly dials you into the conference. One click to join the conference. Of course Nokia doesnt provide the conference bridge and for now you have to use your own bridge.

    Umesh Chandra
    (Easy meet team)

  2. This is certainly an exciting class of application if it is developed to fulfill the concept that quickly springs into mind starting with very easy video as well as voice conferencing ruled by rules for levels of participants.
    Of course, this type of capability has broad application to vertical data mining plus collaboration as well as general conferencing.

    How will this be offered, as an app for Nokia-only or Symbian only or OVI web portal based for open access?

  3. We currently support not only Nokia devices but some of the other devices like iPhone/gPhone/BB-storm. We would keep the same going forward.

    Umesh Chandra
    (Easy Meet team)

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