CPSC 689/602--Spring 1997
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Paper Report

Title: Telepresence : Integrating Shared Task And Person Spaces
Authors: William A S Buxton
Citation: Proceedings Of Graphic Interfaces, 1992
Reprinted in: Baecker, R.M., Readings in Groupware and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 1993, pp. 816-822

This paper discusses the video enhanced computer conferencing or computer enhanced video conferencing. The interest lies in how in collaborative work we make transitions between the two spaces of video conferencing and groupware.

The terms meeting or group interaction are almost devoid of information since they encompass a broad range of activities. The technology is used to match the various activities to the space and get the best of the entire process. We can consider the presence in terms of two spaces i.e. of a person and of at a task. A shared person space means it is the collective sense of copresence between/among group participants, which includes facial expressions, gaze and body language.

A shared task space corresponds to a copresence in the domain of the task being undertaken. Sometimes the person and task space are the same taking the example of counseling advising or negotiations. Traditional video conferencing is a very good example of a shared person space. This is because even though there is nobody present the feeling of the person is always there and we can get a good vies of the eye contact and the gazes.

But typically videoconferencing is tied by the fact that the eye contact cannot be made easily and to facilitate this we can use the half silvered mirror technology. Portrait painting provides the lead or another approach to augmenting the nature of personal presence using video. A system called as Hydra uses this technology to implement the personal shared space To implement shared task spaces by sharing some things that form part of the task space and using them in the same channel as the person space. But if both the participants do not have the same object to refer to they cannot proceed and hence this system just gives us a feel of teleawareness but not telepresence.

We can use various number of ways in which the users can point and change the drawing on a common space and also use liveboards There are various other systems which use the shared task space and person spaces as integrated one space. The shared ARK is one such example. These systems just establish the fact that the users move from the person shared space to task shared space as and when the work requires them to. The various other examples of such a system are Videodraw and Videowhiteboard.

Report prepared by: Kushal M Agrawal Email: kushala@cs.tamu.edu
Discussion date: April 4, 1997            Report date: April 8, 1997