groups working together in a shared workspace, originated from the expansion of CSCW research and the spread of the groupware concept. This paper introduces a new multiuser interface design approach based on the translucent video overlay technique. This approach was realized in the multimedia desktop conference system Team WorkStation. Team WorkStation demonstrates that this translucent video overlay technique can achieve two different goals: (1) fused overlay for realizing the open shared workspace, and (2) selective overlay for effectively using limited screen space. This paper first describes the concept of open shared workspace and its implementation based on the fused overlay technique. The shared work window of Team-WorkStation is created by overlaying translucent individual workspace images. Each video layer is originally physically separated. However, because of the spatial relationships among marks on each layer, the set of overlaid layers provides users with sufficient semantics to fuse them into one image. The usefulness of this cognitive fusion was demonstrated through actual usage in design sessions. Second, the problem of screen space limitation is described. To solve this problem, the idea of ClearFace based on selective overlay is introduced. The ClearFace idea is to lay translucent live face video windows over a shared work window. Through the informal observations of experimental use in design sessions, little difficulty was experienced in switching the focus of attention between the face images and the drawing objects. The theory of selective looking accounts for this flexible perception mechanism. Although users can see drawn objects behind a face without difficulty, we found that users hesitate to draw figures or write text over face images. Because of this behavior, we devised the "movable" face window strategy." />


Translucent Multiuser Interface for Realtime Collaboration

Hiroshi ISHII  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E75-A   No.2   pp.122-131
Publication Date: 1992/02/25
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Fundamentals of Next Generation Human Interface)
Category: 
Keyword: 
CSCW,  groupware,  realtime collaboration,  multiuser interface,  human interface,  shared workspace,  multimedia,  desktop video conference,  

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Summary: 
The new notion of "multiuser interface", an interface for groups working together in a shared workspace, originated from the expansion of CSCW research and the spread of the groupware concept. This paper introduces a new multiuser interface design approach based on the translucent video overlay technique. This approach was realized in the multimedia desktop conference system Team WorkStation. Team WorkStation demonstrates that this translucent video overlay technique can achieve two different goals: (1) fused overlay for realizing the open shared workspace, and (2) selective overlay for effectively using limited screen space. This paper first describes the concept of open shared workspace and its implementation based on the fused overlay technique. The shared work window of Team-WorkStation is created by overlaying translucent individual workspace images. Each video layer is originally physically separated. However, because of the spatial relationships among marks on each layer, the set of overlaid layers provides users with sufficient semantics to fuse them into one image. The usefulness of this cognitive fusion was demonstrated through actual usage in design sessions. Second, the problem of screen space limitation is described. To solve this problem, the idea of ClearFace based on selective overlay is introduced. The ClearFace idea is to lay translucent live face video windows over a shared work window. Through the informal observations of experimental use in design sessions, little difficulty was experienced in switching the focus of attention between the face images and the drawing objects. The theory of selective looking accounts for this flexible perception mechanism. Although users can see drawn objects behind a face without difficulty, we found that users hesitate to draw figures or write text over face images. Because of this behavior, we devised the "movable" face window strategy.