Enabling Co-browsing Service across Different Browsers and Devices
Co-browsing allows several users at different places to surf the same content from the Internet at the same time. It has been widely used in many user scenarios, for example, co-shopping with social friends or assisted customer care services. To enable such a service, some recent studies propose a web-enabled approach where browser plugins/extensions or third-party software are no longer required. However, those existing studies do not consider the diversities of browsers/devices and fail to deal with personalized web pages. With a special focus on these issues, this paper presents the detailed design and implementation of our web-enabled co-browsing system, namely CoSurfen. Some important strategies for web-based co-browsing are first discussed, for instance, cookie mapping, event-loop detection, event reduction, and page transition. Using these strategies, CoSurfen is able to provide an efficient web-based co-browsing service across different browsers and devices. Our initial evalutation results demonstrate its scalability, efficiency, and usability. Based on the current design, CoSurfen can be also extended to provide a cloud-based co-browsing service.
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