In a previous life, John Underkoffler spent his days in Los Angeles as a science adviser on films like Minority Report, dreaming up all of the possible ways men and machines would interact.
Now, he designs those systems for the real world through his company Oblong Industries, which has labored to create a full stack of collaborative tools for business users that are every bit as high-tech as the ones Underkoffler dreamt up for the silver screen.
The first bolt in the quiver of tools that Underkoffler began building out over the course of 15 years spent at MIT’s Media Lab was Mezzanine, a multipurpose collaborative platform that allowed business users to share documents and interact in real time through a powerful combination of videoconferencing hardware and software.
In the age of Zoom though, Oblong’s tools have become more lightweight, and the company is steadily adding multi-share capabilities to platforms other than its own. That new gaggle of collaboration tools launched under the moniker of Rumpus, and Oblong has been partnering with different video services to add its services to their own.
The latest to get the Rumpus treatment is Cisco Webex. Now Cisco’s videoconferencing customers will get access to Rumpus’ personal cursors that point and emphasize content on shared screens, presence indicators to show who is looking where and at what and emoji reactions to provide feedback without disrupting the flow of a meeting.
The company’s tools enable all the users in a meeting to share their screens without competing for screen time.
“We’ve worked closely with Cisco over the last year to bring the capabilities of our flagship product, Mezzanine, to the Cisco suite of enterprise solutions for meetings paces. So as we completed Oblong’s own set of content-first collaboration offerings by building out Rumpus for pure-virtual work, it was obvious that Webex should be among the first conferencing solutions to be directly integrated,” said Underkoffler in a statement. “We’re thrilled to bring the next level of engagement and productivity to millions of Webex users when their meetings require more than basic video and messaging.”
Rumpus is currently available for free to Mac computer users, with Windows support coming soon.