PIC-WG Interactive Demo
Interactive Demo: Rich Presence Trial
The Internet2 Presence and Integrated Communications Working Group (PIC-WG) held a live, interactive demo of the PIC@edu project during the Spring Member Meeting. During the meeting, a Jabber server provided Instant Messaging and Presence services on the conference network, available for use by attendees. Participants were able to connect with other attendees--as well as remote participants--in ad-hoc chats as well as in chat rooms specifically configured around key conference sessions and major venues. This method provided Internet2 members not physically onsite an alternative way to participate in meetings, in real time.
The PIC@edu project
This demo was part of the PIC@edu project. The PIC.edu project aims to:
- Simplify IM deployments.
- Promote interoperability among Internet2 member IM services, including federated identity
- Make experimentation with advanced presence possible.
- Enable eventual inclusion of advanced communications servicesand advanced presence with a focus on enabling mobility and making PIC a pervasive application.
But why not just use those commodity services?
Several reasons for the project included:
- Identity Assurance.
A local IM service such as this one can use your local campus namespace rather than the almost-random namespace in use on commodity IM services. It also can likely be configured to use your campus authentication systems, as it has at Penn and MIT. Together, these steps provide Identity Assurance (allows users to be easily and reliably identifed) for your local users in a way not possible with commodity IM services.
- Dataflow Security.
IM streams are sent through your campus network to your locally-operated server, providing data security and privacy that is not available through commodity IM services. Instant messages move only between your IM clients and the locally operated IM servers. This means that the data associated with IM for two local users need never be stored and handled by a third party server. Additionally, data (not merely the password) can be encrypted.
- @domain.EDU Addressing.
IM users on other Jabber servers outside your institution (such as other PIC.edu servers, Google Talk, and other jabber servers) will be able to communicate with you and your local users using an address of the simple format made popular by SIP.edu. That is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous Rich Presence Trials
The PIC-WG fosters the deployment of network-based communication technologies through demonstrations, tutorials, and initiatives in collaboration with both the private sector and open-source initiatives. This growing area will have an effect on nearly every individual within higher education and also have the potential to be a significant driver for network design, security, and middleware. The PIC-WG is engaged in a series of first light trials, which take place at Internet2 meetings. The trials demonstrate SIP-based (Session Initiation Protocol) voice, video, instant messaging and voice conferencing services over an 802.11 wireless network in the context of rich presence derived from conference calendaring and HP labs location server.