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

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview
Figure 1. Schematic diagram of Agora system.
When people communicate through video mediated communication systems, however, it has been pointed out that gaze, gestures, and other body movements are generally not as effective as in normal face-to-face communication. Heath and Luff found asymmetries in interpersonal communication through video- mediated presence system, which make the resources, such as gestures and gaze that a speaker might ordinarily use to shape the way in which a recipient should participate unreliable ( Heath and Luff 1992). Consequently, it is necessary to devise a system that virtually embodies participants conduct.Observations of actual multi-participant collaboration and the previous studies made clear that the following elements are essential for collaboration support.
A. Several people must be able to create a shared workspace.
B. Each participant must be able to orient himself or herself towards the shared workspace and this orientation of each worker must be visible to all other participants.
C. Body movements and the use of tools in the shared workspace must occur in an interactive fashion.
D. Participants must be able to work with different partners and must be able to organize workspaces accordingly. The other participants must be able to see the work that is being done in such partnerships.

3 DESIGN OF AGORA

The Agora Telecollaboration System consists, roughly speaking, of two parts. One part is the shared space of images and actual objects on a desk, which are created using video projection. The other part consists of large screens onto which life-size images of remote participants are projected. For the current ex-

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