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Woobius introduces: the Eye (woobius.com)
58 points by swombat on Mar 5, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 33 comments



It seems really useful. I would use it with no-tech people. One thing I disliked thought: The sound of the pen drawing on the board. I'm not a native english speaker and I'm not sure how to say it.. but that sound "freeze my back" - the same feeling as one might have with a chalk on a board.


The phrase you're looking for is "sends chills up my spine".


I like "freezes my back" better.


The sound you hear is actually just in the video, the client itself is silent (you'll be glad to hear!)


I actually think it might be a pretty nice touch to have the sound in (and a mute button).


This needs to be more than just a whiteboard, and it needs iPhone/iPad apps ASAP.

a) What does this have over Microsoft NetMeeting?

b) What does this have over Abode Connect Pro?

c) Drawing with the mouse sucks

d) Writing with the mouse sucks

e) Placing text boxes sucks

f) Most conferences use pre-prepared slides (that you might annotate), having to screen cap each one in sequence is clunky.

g) Easy screen sharing duplicates of 95% of this app's utility. Why not do that and allow annotations on top?

I don't want to be a complete downer. But this needs to be much, much better than it currently is. Possibly the only advantage you have is an iPhone/Ipad interface to the whiteboard -- I would make that the highest priority.


I think you've missed the point, It's not meant to be a netmeeting, or connect pro :-) In fact, it's not supposed to be a tool that you pre-prepare necessarily. As the article says, it's a tool that you can use impromptu: in an "oh ok, look at this.. click" kind of way.


I got that, but that isn't enough. IM is almost as convenient. Again, I'm not trying to be contrarian here, I'm just saying it's not convenient if it's not useful. I don't think mouse drawing is useful. Maybe when more features come online I'll change my opinion... :-)


I agree it isn't enough for all situations, but in those situations you're better off using a tool that is appropriate rather than shoe-horning a tool that isn't. Yes, IM is convenient, and if you are in a situation where you and the person you are talking to are both already using (or have instant access to) a tool that does the job, then of course you should use it (after all, that's the most convenient thing to do!).

But if you're on the phone, or talking via an IM service that doesn't have a white board, or if in any situation you simply need to illustrate and annotate a conversation live, then the Eye is just a couple of clicks away.

It's feature incomplete - we know that, but rather than throw in features simply because that's what we (and others) might expect, we'd like to work with it and the people who use it and make it as useful as we can.

Thanks for taking the time to respond :-)


You did read the article, didn't you? ;-)


Hey everyone,

Would love to have your comments on this new tool that we've just launched into public beta now. How would you use it? Would you use it? Is it useful?

And in general, what do you think of it? Any feedback is welcome.

Direct link to the new tool: http://woobiuseye.com


iPad app?


Yes, definitely on the plans.


I've just watched the demo video, and I really like your UI for taking screenshots. Other than that, there have been many "shared whiteboard" implementations, many of them in Flash, over the years, which haven't really taken off massively - probably because drawing with a mouse is hard. I know Woobius targets architects, etc. - I assume they use tablets, and it could work really well with those.


One of the things we've tried to do (and this should cover chaosmachine's comment too I hope) is make a tool that is instantly available. There's really no wait time involved - if I'm already on the phone with someone, I'm probably not going to ask them to sign up to a full blown virtual meeting tool like Adobe Connect in the midst of a conversation for example - but I can copy & paste a Woobius Eye session to them however I like; email, IM, whatever means I already have.


I thought "Take Screenshot" was going to save my scribbles to a file. This is a cool feature though, I could imagine using it for captioning random stuff on the web...that said, I'd want to be able to download/share my image when I'm done with it.


Yep, that's coming very soon!


Nice product. Making it easy to use/launch sounds like a big plus to me. I originally thought this had actual voice chat along with the visual element, but that's not the case, is it? Oh well - bummer.

One use case that could prove useful for me: I can see using this to help design UI on distributed teams - rather than creating or modifying screenshots and sending back and forth, you could mark up ideas at the same time.

In the demo, were you guys writing on a Wacom type of device or something? I can never write that nicely with a mouse or trackpad!


We were indeed using a Wacom tablet for this demo, but we have an text tool on the way, which should help those of us (such as me!) who are biologically incapable of drawing letters with a mouse (and even sometimes with a pen)...


This looks like Netmeeting whiteboard, which came with Windows 95.

http://imgur.com/dBP1u.gif

http://i.technet.microsoft.com/Cc723477.nm3feat2%28en-us,Tec...

Netmeeting also had video conferencing and chat to go with it, though.

http://www.microsoft.com/PRODUCTS/internet/netmeeting/demo/w...

Maybe you could partner with Chat Roulette ;)


There are plenty of standalone apps for videoconferencing. I don't think there's any need to package it with a whiteboard app unless you can come up with an innovative way to integrate the video with the whiteboard (indexing video frames to scribbles, maybe?)

In my experience, having a video feed is pretty much worthless for productivity; if anything, it's distracting. Much more useful is having voice chat and the ability to share files seamlessly. Again, these are needs that can be adequately fulfilled by Google Docs, Google Talk, Skype, etc, so there's no reason to reinvent the wheel.


This is exactly the approach we're going for. We're a distributed team and have been since the start, and over the past two years we've used a variety of weird and wonderful tools to enhance the communication between us.

While video conferencing is nice, we've never found it really adds that much value to our conversations unless we're show & telling. Screen sharing can be useful but it doesn't lend itself well to a fluid two-way conversation (only one person can control a computer/cursor/keyboard at once), and it's generally not instantly available - if we're already talking on the telephone we have to switch tools entirely, and if we're talking to someone outside our team it's pretty much pot luck as to whether they'll already have access to the same services we do.

We wanted something with zero setup. No registration, no downloads/installs, no login.. Maybe when HTML5 is implemented uniformly across all major browsers we can drop the requirement for any 3rd party software at all.

It's an add-on to your existing workflow, rather than a workflow of its own.


That is a really, really good demo video. It helps that it's a really good looking product as well.


This is something that could definitely be useful but I don't know if I like the idea of having to write everything in pen, couldn't there be some sort of plain-text chat option?


There will be - we're working on a text tool.


I could see this being turned into a fun game - sketchroulette?


I remember seeing a website like that, it was a "multiplayer flash whiteboard" and dozens of people were connected at any given time. It was mostly full of penises and other sexual drawings, as you would expected.




This is the output from a recent session on #startups:

http://www.skitch.com/swombat/n2drp/woobius-eye

grin


A very cool product with plenty of real business uses! Well done!


No one (that I know) can write letters that fast or that well with their mouse. I think a text tool (like you'd find in Skitch) would be better.

Also, webcam integration would be nice.


We're working on a text tool right now.

As for integration with webcams and such - being able to use Eye with your current tools is fundamental to the idea. We didn't want to reinvent the wheel and provide everything in 1 box.

You should be able to pick it up half way through a telephone conversation for e.g. and explain something with it.

If you need a webcam while you talk, you need a video conference, and there are plenty of tools already out there for that :-)




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