In this paper, we set out to define the out together feeling as the experience when two people at different locations feel as though they are together. In other words, it makes a pair of users, one outdoors and the other indoors, feel as if they are both outdoors together. To determine a set of interaction methods to enable indoor and outdoor users to interact and share the out together feeling, we carried out preliminary experiments to observe the basic elements of communication between people who are really together. We then carried out an experiment in which indoor and outdoor users communicated via a videophone and observed the interaction patterns of each user as they attempted to achieve a given goal. From the analysis of these data, we defined three basic elements that are required to achieve the out together feeling: (1) both users can freely peruse the outdoor user's surroundings, (2) know where each other is looking, (3) and can communicate non-verbally using gestures. Using these basic elements, we designed and implemented a system called WithYou. This consists of two subsystems: a wearable system for the outdoor user and an immersive space for the indoor user. The indoor user wears a head-mounted display (HMD) and watches video from a pan-and-tilt camera mounted on the outdoor user's chest. Thus, the indoor user can look around by simply turning their head. The orientation of the outdoor user's face is also displayed on the HMD screen to indicate where they are looking. We experimentally evaluated the system and, based on an analysis of the subjects' response to questionnaires and video recordings, we were able to assess the level to which the out together feeling was achieved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science(all)