The app: whiteboard-vr.herokuapp.com
This app offers an online whiteboard with realtime collaboration. It is platform independent, which means it works with touch on smartphones or tablets, with mouse on desktop computers and even with virtual reality headsets. It is an easy way to collaboratively sketch ideas, nobody needs to signup. Just open the app, share your room code with your co-workers/students/friends and start visualizing your ideas.
- no signup
- works on every device
- no need for installing an app (web-based)
- realtime collaboration
Due to the corona virus schools are closing around the world. This leads to new challenges for teachers on how to educate their students. Right now teachers are trying to teach via Video Conferences. They prepeare presentations, give students tasks and homeworks and try to answer the students questions via chat but teaching virtually often lacks in the realtime collaboration of students and the teacher. Offline teachers use black- or whiteboard to structure their class and visualisze their progress. These Boards are a way for the teacher to colaborate with his students. With our application we want to put this offline workflow into the digital world and make it easier for teachers and students to learn together even if they are not in the same room.
This application can be a big benefit for all educational systems around the world but can also be usefull for creative collaboration in companies. Teachers and Professor can use this application to work together with their students. In companies it can be used as another tool to colaborate with collegues in real time. Even after the corona pandemic this tool can be very helpful as it is not specifically desigend to solve a corona-caused issue but tackles a broader problem in virtual teaching and collaboration.
The application is easy to use and to understand. As the application is web-based everyone can acess the tool via a link. There is no need for any high end device or a high functioning computer. It can be used on various devices like a smartphone, tablet or even on virtual reality headsets. When you open the website you are automatically in a room with a room code. If you share your room code with other user you can draw on the same whiteboard. You do not need to signup or create an account, just share the link or room code and you are good to go.
The app builds on top of the widely-used A-Frame and Three.js framework to ensure that the basic functionality is working without issues. To enable realtime collaboration we are using Socket.io, which is really fast way to communicate between web-clients. The code is open-source and available at GitHub.
The application is already working and out of a prototype status. More features will be added in the future, but the basic functionality is implemented.
- realtime collaboration
- separation by rooms
- change color
- change brush size
- draw in VR
- draw with touch (smartphone, tablet)
- draw with mouse
There are many websites with whiteboard collaboration functionality. What makes this project unique is the low entry barrier and the support of virtual reality headsets.