Tin Can: Manage Distributed Meetings With An iPad

A new system connects participants during remote meetings.

A team from the MIT Media Lab has developed Tin Can, a new way to connect remote meeting participants and enhance communication during distributed meetings. The system uses the phones or laptops of participants as input devices and represents all the topics, tasks and thoughts of the participants on an iPad in the center of the table at each meeting location, thereby providing new ways for attendees to participate in and visualize the meeting.

MIT Media Lab explains some of the applications of the Tin Can:

Tasks: Whenever someone in the meeting mentions a task, anyone else can use their phone or laptop to write down the task. Unassigned tasks are shown on the iPad, and anyone can drag the task to their name to claim it.

Sharing: When you want to share a web page, image, or document with meeting participants, use Tin Can to keep everyone in sync. Send it to Tin Can, and either use Tin Can’s screen to talk about it during the meeting, or people can look at it on their own.

Agenda Management: Need to put a discussion point on the table? Enter it into Tin Can, and it will add it to the agenda so you don’t forget. The meeting clock will show how many items you have left to discuss and how much time you have left in the meeting.

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