Invented by Ramprakash Narayanaswamy, 8X8 Inc
The 8X8 Inc invention works as followsMeeting systems and methods can be implemented in many different ways. In accordance with one embodiment of the disclosure, a system for a meeting is implemented by a computer that is configured to offer a web-based subscription option to meeting-group participants. The meeting data is received via a virtual meeting interface that can be accessed over the web. The meeting data includes information about group identification and meeting times. The group identification data is used to retrieve participant identification details for those participants who are associated with the meeting group. The meeting participants may use chat sessions.
Background for Web-enabled Chat Conferences and Meeting Implementations
The ability to hold productive and efficient meetings is an important factor in the success of any endeavor. It is important to be able to effectively communicate different types of data to participants and amongst them. It is hard enough to keep meetings productive and efficient when all participants are physically present. In many meetings, at least one person is located in a distant location. In extreme situations, an entire meeting may consist of participants from remote locations. Remote conferences can present additional issues to those that arise in a face-to-face meeting.
There are a number of remote meeting options that attempt to address some or all of these problems. Multiple participants can communicate via telephone conferencing. Remote participants can view data, such as shared applications, slides and data. Calendaring software or email can be used to coordinate meeting times and information about connection. The vast number of meeting requirements can frustrate these and other solutions. These requirements include the types of data that need to be shared, the coordination of participants in different locations, the different relationships between participants as well as technology capabilities.
Aspects” of the present disclosure relate to remote meeting solutions, which address issues such as those mentioned above and are applicable to various web-sharing devices, methods, applications and systems. The present invention is exemplified by a variety of applications and implementations, some of which can be seen in the following figures and described in the claims section.
In accordance with a particular embodiment of the disclosure, a system for meetings is implemented which includes a computer-server arrangement with at minimum one processor. The computer server configuration is configured to offer a web-based subscription option for meeting groups to potential participants. The meeting data is received via a virtual meeting interface that can be accessed over the web. The meeting data includes information about group identification and meeting times. The group identification data is used to retrieve participant identification details for those participants who are associated with the meeting group. The meeting time and participant identification information can be used to establish chat sessions or connections for meeting participants.
In accordance with an alternative embodiment of the disclosure, a system for meeting is implemented which includes a computer-server arrangement. The computer server configuration includes at least one process and is configured to accept, from a social site, meeting scheduling information from the virtual interface. This meeting scheduling information includes participant identification information as well as meeting time information. There is a web-accessible interface for virtual meetings. The participant identification information for identified participants is retrieved.
The summary above does not intend to describe all the illustrated embodiments or all implementations of the invention.
The present disclosure includes aspects that are related to remote meetings, including their use and systems. The present invention does not limit itself to these applications. However, it is possible to appreciate various aspects of the invention by discussing various examples in this context.
The present disclosure discusses meeting/conferencing solution that is collectively called a “virtual meeting” solution. Virtual meeting is a term that implies the participants are attending virtually by virtue of their physical absence from the central meeting location. However, the disclosure at hand does not limit itself to this. In fact, various aspects of this disclosure can be implemented even if all participants are located in the same room.
Consistently with other embodiments in the present disclosure the virtual meeting solution facilitates the establishment of telephonic communication with participants. The telephonic communications can include, without limitation, calling participants using landline/Public-Switched-Telephone Network (PSTN) connections, cellular connections, Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections, streaming video feeds and combinations thereof. The dialing time for participants can be pre-programmed according to meeting start times or other criteria. The dial time can be controlled by different aspects of the virtual solution. Participants can, for example, select when they want to be called. The meeting organizer can also specify the time of call for one or several participants.
In certain implementations, the virtual meeting solution uses a call profile to contact participants. In the event of a failed dial-out, the call profile can include auto-retrying parameters. The auto-retry parameters include the intervals between retries as well as the number of attempts and alternative numbers to be called. These alternate numbers can be used to implement a call-preference ordering that the virtual meeting uses when trying to contact a particular participant. The call profile can also indicate which number is best to use in order to contact a participant based on the time, meeting type or other factors.
Embodiments in the present disclosure relate also to aspects that give meeting participants the capability to dynamically select participants who are to be contacted. The virtual meeting solution calls selected participants automatically to add them to an ongoing meeting. The meeting can grow organically by adding new participants when necessary, without the need to contact the participant to invite them to the meeting. In some implementations, calling a party does not require them to enter a code. By using the number called as confirmation of the caller, the meeting can be kept relatively secure. Virtual meetings are particularly powerful because they allow participants to be called internationally.
The virtual meeting solution is not limited to this. It can also be used as a telephone service. The virtual meeting service allows individuals to talk to each other using only voice communication. However, at any time during the conversation, they can also use various data sharing features and add participants. The virtual meeting solution is particularly useful for impromptu calls and/or data sharing between individuals.
Aspects” of the disclosure concern the use of virtual meeting solutions that coordinate voice data from and to multiple call points distributed within a meeting. The coordination can be done, for example, by using VoIP services to reduce long-distance fees. “Aspects of this disclosure consider various factors such as quality of service, quality of experience and/or financial cost to determine the best calling solution.
According to one embodiment, the virtual solution for meetings modifies Caller Id data in order to provide information about the meeting to a participant who is called. This information may include the name of a meeting, its purpose, its source (e.g. the hosting business), or information about the connection necessary to access the meeting via a web browser.
A specific implementation of the disclosure is a native user interface for a web browser. This implementation allows all participants to participate fully in the meeting, without having to download and/or install customized software. It is especially useful because it can discourage participants from installing third-party software, which poses security risks. It also reduces barriers to meeting participants (e.g. time, effort, and technical knowledge). A user doesn’t need to install a different application on each computer or device. For security reasons, many companies prohibit their employees to install applications on their computer, creating a barrier for potential participants. Another example is that plug-ins may stop working properly if the browser version changes. This could require an upgrade.
Consistent to an implementation of the disclosure, the user-interface operates natively within a web browser by implementing the interface/meeting functionality in a browser supported programming environment.” One example is the Flash framework, in which several applications (e.g. Version-10) are written with Flash.
Data transfers within the browser environment can be implemented by a variety of transmission protocols and techniques. Some examples, but not limited to, include HTTP/HTTPS transfer as well as RTP (Real-Time Message Protocol), RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol), RTMP (Real Time Messaging protocol), and RTMPT (“RTMP through HTTP tunneling”).
Aspects” of the disclosure relate to sharing participant content. Content sharing can be implemented by storing files/documents in the browser interface. Participants can upload files to share with other participants. The meeting organizer can control this uploading. He or she has the power to set restrictions.
Another aspect of sharing in the present disclosure is that one or more participants can share a live view of their display screen. A participant could, for example, share his entire desktop allowing others to view everything on his computer. It is not always desirable to display information that is irrelevant to the meeting or is confidential. In a specific implementation, the participant can select which aspects to share. In some cases, the choice can be restricted to a specific window or application. A floating box/window that can be moved to any part of the screen to determine the area to be shared is also available. The sharing can be paused, stopped or started as desired. In some implementations, participants can give up control of a document shared with others. It is also possible to combine these features, for example, limiting the sharing of a document to a particular window and further limiting it by a customized selection within that window.
The present disclosure also pertains to intuitive and efficient mechanisms for initiating the meeting. In some implementations, the meeting can be initiated by clicking a single icon, such as an icon in a calendar that displays the meeting. The meeting is started according to preset conditions or default conditions. It may also be started using predictive criteria. Start aspects include calling participants automatically, merging participants into one teleconference (or teleconferences), starting video feeds, sharing documents, and/or sharing the desktop. This is especially useful for meetings that repeat and have similar setup requirements. Virtual meeting solutions allow meeting organizers and participants to specify the meeting will be repeated and copy the startup parameters. When setting up a new meeting, the meeting organizer can select previously defined parameters (e.g. by selecting and copying an earlier meeting).Click here to view the patent on Google Patents.