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Early co-browsing was achieved by local execution of software that had to be installed on the computer of each participant. More advanced tools didn't have to be installed, but still required local execution of software or at least web-browser plug-ins, extensions, or applets. Most tools were limited to a single user that was able to navigate, while the others could only watch.
Some tools provide very limited co-browsing by only synchronizing the page location (URL) of the page that should be shared. Full co-browsing supports automatic synchronization of the browsers' state and content, including frames, portlets, or even content of the form fields and controls. Some tools can even identify complex media objects such as audio and video players and offer capability of synchronous (coordinated) playback with start/pause/stop functionality.
Co-browsing is difficult to implement due to the essential confidence requirements to share any real-time experience, and strong resistance provided by OS and browser security mechanisms. Co-browsing technology has many inherent challenges such as page personalizations or sites that require user authentication.
- Vizolution London, UK. No downloads, used by 3 of top 5 UK banks and 2 of top 5 UK insurance companies. Works on all browsers and devices, first time, every time.
- eGain, Sunnyvale CA, mobile ready, no java or plugin, open to all at http://beta.cobrowse.com
- LiveLOOK, New Jersey, mobile-friendly, no plug-in or Java required, supports on or off-browser co-browsing including In-App
- NEC Cobrowse by NEC, no plugins required, 100% browser based for major browsers, for smartphones, tablets and desktops, easy to use, unique customer privacy and security architecture for HTTPS and Callcenter outsourcing, WebRTC Video/Voice Chat, social network integration,
- Spotlo, based in Kraków, Poland. Takes 5 minutes to install, easy to use and requires no plugins. T-Mobile Telekom Innovation Contest 2013 finalist.
- Vee24, based in UK, co-browsing with live video chat
- cobrowsing.me, based in Amsterdam, white label co-browsing for developers
- CoVu by Optini, LLC CoVu for Collaborative Viewing, based in Provo, UT
- Click With Me Now, based in both St. Louis, MO & Redwood City, CA: One-Click, No-Download, High-fidelity Co-Browsing from the site you're on and Commerce-Compliant.
- Glance, based in Boston, instantly connects, mobile-friendly, never any downloads, plug-ins or Java required.
- Surfly, based in Amsterdam, no plugins or extensions needed
- unblu, based in Switzerland, secure co-browsing made simple, no downloads, no plugins, no applets
- goInstant, Acquired by Salesforce
- wisaforce, based in Paris
- RightNow, Montana, recently acquired by Oracle, have a co-Browsing offering
- Chat&, based in NYC, NO Download completely web based.
- CoBrowser.net, based in the Netherlands, no downloads or plugins needed and provides a web based operator interface.
- Gravit8, St. Louis MO, No installs, plug-ins or downloads required. Enables integrated chat & co-browsing of subscriber websites.
- LetsSyncro, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Introduces a selling approach to the traditional collaboration cobrowsing technology
- synchronite, based in Germany. Multi-user shared browsing, no plug-ins or downloads required.
- RedHelper.ru, based in Moscow, Enables integrated chat & co-browsing of subscriber websites.
- VeriShow.com, based in Michigan, includes live video chat, co-browsing & content sharing.
- SaleMove, based in NYC, Enterprise Level, Real-time Analytics, Video Chat, browser co-browsing, no downloads, no plugins. For Sales.
- Now Interact, based in London, Enterprise Level, Real-time user behaviour insight, browser co-browsing, no downloads, no plugins.
- Franke, Jörn; Cheng, Bin: Real-Time Privacy-Preserving Cobrowsing with Element Masking, 17th Conference on Intelligence in Next Generation Networks, Venice, Italy, 2013.