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Kit Plummer
Software Engineer :: Techitect :: Evangelist
kitplummer@gmail.com
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One of the cool things about starting a project from scratch is that you get to pick all kinds of funny new names for things. rVooz is no different. The name itself is a play on “rendezvous” and the fact that we’d really like to make it easy for people with the same interest to meet (communicate, or even work together). This last part is where the “collaboration” bit comes in to play. It is one thing to rendezvous, it is another to improve productivity or efficiency. So, we don’t just want to stop at making the link and providing the communications mechanism.

Here’s a rough example…and it might seem totally ridiculous, but what edgy idea doesn’t at first.

Imagine a ride-share application to which you could publish your positional information. The application could take that information and…

  • match others based on a half-mile radius
  • create an instant messaging session
  • create a VoIP/SIP voice session
  • send a TXT message
  • send an email
  • if no match, contact a shuttle/cab/etc.

The context here is the positional information. The collaboration is the interaction between multiple “users”, the context matching system, the communication system, and external entities.

In the rVooz system there is a client-side, the piece of the puzzle which does the registration of the information (a website, instant message, etc.). The client registers with the Salient server. The Salient server provides a simple RESTful (HTTP) interface for collecting context registrations. Within the Salient server there are different “engines” that process the different kinds of context and rules about what constitute a match. Once a match is found, the engine notifies internally the users and context.

On the other side of the client the rVooz system provides a piece called a Voozer, which is the mechanism for creating the link between multiple users. This could be as simple as having a “buddy” added to your Instant Messaging roster, or ringing a soft-phone. Or, it could be complex – triggering a sequence of events (like causing a report to be generated and an email sent containing the report). The thought is that a Voozer can be created for whatever should happen based on a match. In some of our early concepts we have a Voozers that poll for matches and Voozers that can get notified on a match event.

Match is a pretty boring term, and doesn’t do justice – so we’ve come up with contextion. A contextion, is the result of a matched context.

I’m sure you can come up with many other ideas – where contextual collaboration would be useful. How about Last.fm? Imagine getting a list of potential “friends” based on a very refined music contextion. Or, what about an integrated mapping tool that could be used in disaster recovery efforts to reduce the amount of cross-agency duplication?

Check out the http://www.rvooz.org project for more info…


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