From early times, engineers, mathematicians and corporate strategy departments valued the simultaneous focus and additive collaborative nature physical whiteboards enabled. Having an entire team in one room, thinking together and with the energy of the moment allowed concepts to come forth quickly and be modified easily, unlike traditional paper or electronic documents, or even email.
The spread of COVID-19 has led to unprecedented measures, first by governments and now schools and businesses, as they try to limit the spread of the virus. In addition to restricting travel and canceling large events, a growing number of companies are now rethinking their ways of working. While production workers as well as system-relevant workforce such as medical staff are still working on-site, a majority of the remaining workforce in the world has been encouraged or even mandated to work remotely. Working remotely under these circumstances means adapting to a new environment, battling a new set of distractions as well as experiencing an unprecedented fusion of work and private life. In order to continue working efficiently and creating value under these new circumstances, organizations need to understand, accept and support their employees’ specific situations and needs. The ongoing pandemic has provided a lucrative opportunity for providers by enabling remote workers with the ability to experience collaboration and agile communications virtually. We try to tackle this issue using our project LetsMeetUp.
What it does
LetsMeetUp tries to capture the physical chalkboard brainstorming sessions into a virtual space. It is an Interactive Chalkboard and Chatting Application with Real-time Collaboration for Remote Meetings. It allows group collaborations with other users by providing a shared chalkboard screen along with a chatting window. It is not only “interactive” but allows multiple users to make changes in “real-time”.
- Brainstorming Session with your team : Open a LetsMeetUp Room, share the Room Name with your teammates and brainstorm with teammates using the collaborative chalkboard while discussing the doubts using the chat window.
- Conduct Teaching Sessions : Share your knowledge with students and peers and educate them using the collaborative chalkboard.
- Play Interactive Games : Open a LetsMeetUp Room, share the Room Name with your frinds and play games like "guess the movie" using the collaborative chalkboard.
How I built it
What’s really crucial for me when starting one is to get very clear on the goals right at the start and then create a plan with milestones. I also like dealing with the most difficult parts of the projects early on—that way in case there are any significant issues, I’ll still have a nice amount of time to complete before the deadline. I also typically break down large tasks into smaller chunks, so that it is easier to know where to start. In this project, there were many smaller tasks which I needed to work upon.
The main parts of this project were:
- firstly creating a chatting system
- then I needed to develop a system for real time collaboration so that changes made to the chalkboard are visible to all the people within that group
I began by creating the chatting system first which i had some experience on. Then came the more difficult part, creating a real-time collaborating system was kind of tricky and I am still working on improving this in my project, currently I am using a system where whenever there is a key-up event due typing in the editor window, the changes are sent to all the members of the room and are visible to them.
Challenges I ran into
The challenging part of this project was creating a real-time collaborating system. It was kind of tricky and I am still working on improving this in my project, currently I am using a system where whenever there is a key-up event due typing in the editor window, the changes are sent to all the members of the room and are visible to them.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am proud that I was able to complete the project in time. I am really happy about the interface design too.
What I learned
Detailed planning is very important to ensure a project goes smoothly, this is something which I learnt while doing this project. It was a great experience working for this project. I faced a lot of technical issues and challenges but I always found a way to solve them and in the process learnt a lot. The experience of working on a product that could be used by people in the real world was exciting and increased my interest in the field of Computer Science.
What's next for LetsMeetUp
Many more features can be added to the project in the future:
- More editing features can be added to the chalkboard
- Enable downloading the chalkboard contents as a pdf document