Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview
1. Displaying the presence of others: By representing each user as a shadow on the screen, the system can alert the user to the presence of others.
2. Identifying the participants: The system displays user profiles (name, affiliation, interests, etc.), so that the user can identify the other participants easily.
3. Displaying relations between users: The system displays common interests between users to stimulate conversations.

Silhouettell displays the shadows of the other participants as objects on the screen, with their profiles above their shadows so that they can identify each other. The system also enriches encounters and encourages conversation by presenting web pages as common topics. The connection lines between each topic and the shadows show groups interested in the same topic.

The system works as follows. The system generates the shadow of a user by comparing the current image to the background image, and recognizes participants using their clothing color. The system averages the value of pixels corresponding to the user's chest area and identifies the participants by the stored values (they are input at the first use). The system also uses the amount of user movement from the distance between the user in the current frame and that in the previous. The use of both color and location reduces misidentification1'.

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1
We think that some kind of tag-based small device, such as meme tag ( Borovoy 1998), would be useful for more robust user-recognition in future versions.

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