Getting Ready to Rumpus?

Andy Cakebread

Multi-stream collaboration set to redefine collaborative working for virtual teams

Getting Ready to Rumpus?

Pioneers in multi-stream meetings and interactive spatial computing environments, Oblong Industries, has announced Rumpus – a new visual collaboration application.

Designed for virtual teams, Rumpus intends to take web conferencing to new levels through rich content and context.  Shared screens from all meeting participants can be accessed simultaneously, shared cursors and annotation facilitates new ways of communication, and the use of emojis allows the sharing of sentiment and feeling.

Simultaneous sharing gets more done

John Underkoffler

John Underkoffler

Rumpus references the DNA of Oblong’s flagship Mezzanine product – an expansive, pixel-rich collaboration room that connects different rooms, remote participants and multiple data and content inputs. To visualise, think Minority Report, Homeland or any number of intelligence-led, data-fed, motion-controlled, multi-media control rooms. Mezzanine provided Oblong with extensive behavioural insight into true collaboration.  A key finding showed that 62% of the time users share multiple forms of content given the ability to do so. If every participant can contribute and share equally and simultaneously, then more gets done in more enjoyable ways.

According to Oblong CEO John Underkoffler, “Rumpus completes our portfolio of modern solutions for collaborative work. While Mezzanine already provides the ultimate content-first meeting experience for colleagues collaborating in one room or across multiple rooms, we recognise that team-based work also happens virtually. We created Rumpus specifically to energise such teams. Rumpus delivers Oblong’s core design values around amplification of human cognition and capability while folding the power of Mezzanine into a laptop’s available workspace.”

“And it’s the necessary first step on the path to ubiquity for true collaboration”

Engage and energise remote workers

VP of Product Strategy, David Kung, hosted a demonstration and was keen to point out that Rumpus takes the “basic premise that everyone can share and participate as if in the same room” to “solve problems bigger than one person and leverage collective minds and data.”  With organisations making greater use of remote workers and studies highlighting that the greatest issues are feelings of isolation and an inability to communicate and collaborate effectively and, here’s the key, sociably.  Kung stressed that current tools, while accepting they facilitate more remote working, only go so far. Sharing is one-screen at a time – leading to behaviours relating to “fear of interruption” and “disengagement”. Without the ability to share cursors, sentiment and annotate simultaneously, then a host of non-verbal cues are absent. Add this capability and you “get to the moment of trust more quickly.” All “from a simple URL and without changing the UC tool.”

Mezzanine’s findings show that, as social beings, we respond positively when given a chance to collaborate in a better way. And deliver better results, faster. A view supported by industry analyst Ira M. Weinstein of Recon Research: “The way people communicate and collaborate is evolving. Traditionally, a collaboration session involved a group of people in the same location viewing a single piece of content. Today, however, many organisations are looking for a more dynamic and agile experience that allows multiple people to contribute content simultaneously from various devices and locations. Rumpus helps address these next-gen expectations.”

Rumpus is currently in beta for Mac, with Windows support expected in Q2.  Why Rumpus?  Kung feels:

“Meetings can do with a bit of bally-hoo, of throwing around more ideas and being more fun”


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