spatial arrangement of functional resources originating from body part functions becomes a fundamental issue. Consequently, we have proposed the concept of a body metaphor in configuring a video-mediated communication system.
By deploying three communication resources (objects for manipulation, face view, and hand-gesture view) on the basis of the body metaphor, it became clear which of them learners were orienting to. Specifically, the instructor could see learners looking at the instructor's pointing. Hence, the instructor could recognize the learner's recipiency, and learners were aware of instructor's observation. In addition, it turned out that the learner could use the face view as a surrogate of the instructor to call the instructor's attention and to interactively mark activity boundaries.
We have been working on the field study of a classroom at school and a workplace of emergency care for several years. Taking such findings into account in addition to the findings discussed here, we will try to refine the body-metaphor concept by figuring out a better balance between understandability and richness of communication resources, so that we can develop more practical systems for remote collaborative learning or remote medical procedures.
The authors would like to thank Dr. Tammo Reisewitz and Mr. Ron Korenaga for their contributions to this work. We also thank Dr. Graham Button for his insightful comment on this paper. This research was supported by grants from Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) 07309018 ( Head Investigator: Keiichi Yamazaki), 1996 CASIO Science Promotion Foundation, and 1996 the Telecomunication Advancement Foundation (TAF).
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Hiroshi Kato and Hideyuki Suzuki: C&C Media Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation, 1-1, Miyazaki 4-chome, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 216, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Keiichi Yamazaki: Faculty of Liberal arts, Saitama University, 255 Shimo-okubo, Urawa, Saitama 338, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hideaki Kuzuoka: Institute of Engineering Mechanics, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1, Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305, Japan. email@example.com.
Hiroyuki Miki: Media Laboratories, Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., 550-5, Higashiasakawa-cho, Hachioji, Tokyo, 193, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Akiko Yamazaki: 4-3, Haruno 1-chome, Oomiya, Saitama, 330, Japan.