I’ve mentioned the appear.in service a couple of times. This allows you to convene small meetings (up to 8 people) with video, voice and chat without the need for logins or additional browser plugins on both desktop and mobile (my quick video demo here). Today I got an email from appear.in saying
Get notified when someone enters your room!
We have now made it even easier to start a video conversation. When someone enters your appear.in room, you will receive a desktop notification that you can click to enter the room.
How can you use notifications?
- Get notified when someone shows up for a meeting
- People who want to talk to you can just go into your room
- Make sure everyone on your team is alerted when your team meetings start
Read more on ourblog.
Notifications work using a Chrome extension, but once you have this installed to can monitor multiple rooms.
So if you were wanting to run remote tutor support hours you could claim an appear.in room and enable notifications. Once you advertise your office ours you can monitor the room, get on with other work and wait for notification.
Because appear.in allows you to ‘lock rooms’ if you are providing one to one support you can prevent someone else ‘walking in’.
The awkward bit is handling the locked room. There is no queuing service and anyone visiting a locked room will be presented with the message below. Unfortunately if someone visits a locked room, sees the locked message when the message doesn’t go away when the room is unlocked.
A way around this might be to have two rooms – corridor and office. The corridor room would always be open. As people arrive in the corridor room you could greet them and invite them to your ‘office’ and lock the office during consultation. Once done you could go back to the ‘corridor’ room if anyone else is waiting. If the ‘corridor’ gets busy (more than 7) you’ll have to sit in it yourself or lose the ability to enter (unless as an owner you get priority).
[Writing this it’s all sounding very faffy. I’d imagine you could do something similar with Google Hangouts but I love the fact appear.in requires no login. What do you think?]