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View Mode Experiment

Composition relates to the way that the video and audio are presented to those involved in the group video chat. We think that different views will suit different people depending on the context. In some situations it may be good for all participants to see each other all the time; in other cases it may be best to see just on other person in full screen mode. In the performance use case where the remote audience is more passive, we think that the best representation should be the one that creates the best emotional response in the audience. In the socialisation use case the ideal form of representation is more subjective and is explored through questionnaires. To better understand the options as they relate to the socialisation use case, we conducted a laboratory where we compared three different ways of displaying a group call on a computer screen. The different layouts are:

  • Mosaic, participants could see every one including oneself in a mosaic of tiles, arranged in two rows of three equally sized tiles
  • Hangout, similar to Google Hangout where, based on voice detection, the active speaker was displayed in a main window and the five remaining participants were displayed as a row of five tiles at the bottom of the screen.
  • Full Screen, again based on voice detection, participants only saw the active speaker as a full screen image.



Candidate screen layouts for viewing group video communication

Composition – results

We expect the best option to be dependent upon a number of factors including the bandwidth available, the role the end point is playing in the communication and the nature of the communication taking place.

Illustration of the way that cluster analysis of the results suggests different layouts perform better for different types of telepresence.

Conclusions based on cluster analysis seemed to suggest the Tiled view mode is correlated to the use of social networking and is better suited to support fast turn taking, providing a sense of group cohesion whilst at the same time doing justice to individuals’ presence in the group. The Full Screen view mode is well suited to support for instance remote teaching, where there is mostly one person talking and an audience can see the facial expressions of the speaker in great detail, giving prominence to individual telepresence. The Hangout style view mode is closely correlated to the Full Screen view mode but also allows to some extent to monitor the whole group.

Composition - Exploitation 

Insights gained from the view mode experiments are being used to inform the deign of the Socialisatin Use case.  Other insights may form the basis of a patent which cannot be discussed at the moment.