Visual Feedback for Starting Conversation

A. Kimura, M. Ihara, M. Kobayashi, Y. Manabe, and K. Chihara (Japan)


Visual feedback, auditory channel, voice level, contingent auditory environment, videophone, conversation.


We present shared visual feedback for supporting conversations in contingent auditory environments. To facilitate the initiation of conversations in such environments, it is critical that the caller be able to grasp an auditory channel between the caller’s mouth and the receiver’s ear, and to vocalize at the voice level proper for the receiver. To achieve this goal, feedback of the voice level as measured at the receiver’s ear is needed. Our starting point was a first generation prototype that displays visual feedback on the caller's screen. To remove the weaknesses of the first generation prototype, our latest proposal projects visual feedback onto the floor in the receiver's room. An experiment was conducted to compare the floor display to the screen display. The results confirm that the floor display makes it easier for the caller to associate the feedback with the receiver's position and to control voice level appropriately. Another advantage of the floor display is that both users share the same visual feedback information. We verified that this allows the receiver to assist the caller in achieving optimum voice level control.

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