Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube all let you watch whatever you want, whenever you want. But if you wanted to watch with friends or family, you had to figure out when and where to meet in real life. Rabbit fixes that with a browser-based video chat service that lets you watch whatever you want with friends, no matter where they are.
The uses aren’t just limited to video. Rabbit’s creators say the software is great for sharing documents, playing games, co-browsing with a friend, or text chatting if someone doesn’t have a microphone handy. All you do is hop on to Rabbit’s website using Chrome or Opera (sorry, Firefoxers and Safariers), allow access to your camera and microphone, and use the browser-within-a-browser inside the Rabbit window to go wherever you want. If you’ve ever used remote login or screen sharing software, you’ll know the drill.
(That’s me above, subjecting Gizmodo’s Jamie Condliffe to a dirt bike jumping video he probably had zero interest in, but was polite enough to endure. Thanks Jamie!).
Me and Gizmodo’s Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan, just sayin’ hi with Rabbit’s text chat window. The little remote control icon next to the volume slider gives control of the browser.
Send your Rabbit chat room’s URL to up to nine friends, and they will immediately pop in — no signing up or creating an account required. You can hand off browser control to anyone in the room using the remote control icon (red when you’re in charge, grey when control is up for grabs, disappears when someone else is controlling), and everyone sees the same thing at the same time.
In use, there’s no noticeable lag in voice or videochat, though clicks in the miniature browser inside the Rabbit window lagged ever so slightly. It wasn’t crippling in any way, just delayed by a half beat. Not really bothersome.
The service is available immediately at Rabbit’s website. You’ll need to be using Chrome or Opera, and it will ask for permission to use your camera and mic (obviously). Now you don’t have to wait for your far-flung friends to all be in one place to catch up on Netflix.