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Telepresence in videocommunications

: Prussog, A.; Muhlbach, L.; Bocker, M.

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society -HFES-, Santa Monica/Calif.:
People & technology in harmony. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 38th Annual Meeting. Vol.1 : Nashville, Tennessee, October 24 - 28, 1994
Santa Monica/Calif.: HFES, 1994
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (Annual Meeting) <38, 1994, Nashville/Tenn.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer HHI ()
human factor; teleconferencing; telecontrol; virtual reality; visual communication; telepresence; videocommunications; interlocutors; natural visual; experimental human factor study; videoconferencing systems; user satisfaction; stereoscopic representation; natural-size representation

The paper discusses factors that affect the impression of telepresence in videocommunications. Telepresence is experienced by interlocutors to the extent to which natural visual cues from the remote site are adequately transferred by the medium. The paper reports on two experimental human factors studies investigating the effects of various features of videoconferencing systems in terms of, inter alia, the conferees' impression of telepresence as well as user satisfaction and the willingness to use those systems. Within the framework of Experiment 1 the system features that were varied were the scale of representing the conferees (natural vs. Reduced size) and the representation of the conferees' surroundings (small vs. large sector of the remote room). In Experiment 2 the system feature being tested was the stereoscopic representation of the conferees. Results showed that both the natural-size representation of conferees as well as the stereoscopic representation increase the impression of telepresence. The expected benefits of a representation of the conferees' surroundings could not be verified. Given a fixed size of the screen, the trade-off between the conferees' size and the representation of surroundings is in favor of the natural size representation.