TeamWorkStation: towards a seamless shared workspace

Hiroshi Ishii


This paper introduces TeamWorkStation (TWS), a new desktop real-time shared workspace characterized by reduced cognitive seams. TWS integrates two existing kinds of individual workspaces, computers and desktops, to create a virtual shared workspace. The key ideas are the overlay of individual workspace images in a virtual shared workspace and the creation of a shared drawing surface. Because each co-worker can continue to use his/her favorite application programs or manual tools in the virtual shared workspace, the cognitive discontinuity (seam) between the individual and shared workspaces is greatly reduced, and users can shuttle smoothly between these two workspaces. This paper discusses where the seams exist in the current CSCW environment to clarify the issue of shared workspace design. The new technique of fusing individual workspaces is introduced. The application of TWS to the remote teaching of calligraphy is presented to show its potential. The prototype system is described and compared with other comparable approaches.

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