• United States

Collaboration imitates art

Jun 22, 20042 mins
Collaboration SoftwareEnterprise ApplicationsSmall and Medium Business

* Start-up Netomat offers collaboration technology derived from art project

Netomat offers a very interesting collaborative technology aimed at those who want to share images and other information. The technology was developed originally as an art project, and the company still produces Internet-based art and related art projects.

Netomat 1.0 – currently offered in both a free, basic version and a pay service with more capabilities – allows users to create a “living space” in which they can include images, text, animations, voice clips and other content. This space can be published to the Web and modified by anyone who has permission to do so. Netomat allows the publisher to go back to a previous version of a page, allows the publisher to enable particular features, and has a chat feature integrated into each living space. It has no advertisements of any kind.

Netomat is based on the company’s own markup language, an enhanced version of XML. Users can create living spaces either by using the graphical interface or by writing their own code, much like using a Web-page creation tool. The free version of Netomat includes 2M bytes of storage and 500M bytes of data transfer, while the fee-based version offers 50M bytes of storage and 3G bytes of data transfer.

I found Netomat to be quite an interesting technology that shows a lot of promise. While the product is currently aimed at consumers, the company’s founders showed me examples of how Netomat is used by business professionals in various industries.

In industries that use lots of image-based information (real estate, architecture, interior design, landscaping, construction, etc.), Netomat can provide some interesting capabilities. For example, an interior designer could create a living space in which he or she posts images of furniture, window coverings and other design elements for a client. The client could then review these images and post his or her own images, sketches, etc., in the same workspace along with an audio clip asking questions about how the new design elements could be integrated. This type of collaboration could be accomplished using e-mail, instant messaging and the Web, but Netomat packages all of these capabilities into a cohesive interface that is very easy to learn and use.

Netomat is currently Java-based, but a Web-based version of the product is coming this summer, and a version for mobile platforms will be introduced later this year.