Browse Prior Art Database

Teleconference Feedback System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030470D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Teleconferences are inherently confusing since they do not provide a positive feedback mechanism as to who is speaking, and provide no structured conversational mechanism. When participating in very large teleconferences these become major issues. This article describes how a solution to these problems can be constructed, providing users of the system with feedback and a structured access mechanism.

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Teleconference Feedback System

This article describes a system, referred to here as the Teleconference Feedback System (TFS), which allows for simple feedback when teleconferencing. In normal conversation, individuals become aware that they need to stop talking and allow others to speak by the body language/movement of others in the conversational group. Obviously, this is not the only indicator as talking across the speaker is always available, however, in the much more controlled business environment which teleconferencing represents, participants are forced into this socially aggressive stance as a matter of course. This article describes a system which solves these problems in a very simple, but effective, manner. TFS also has the advantage that it allows all participants to know who is speaking at any one time.

    In the following description, the current speaker is referred to as "having the token".

The article makes the following assumptions:

(1) Each telephone has a visual readout of some sort. This is not unusual in a business environment.
(2) The telephony switch has a number of extra functions such as:

a. Mute the current speaker and free the token (XX)
b. Display of current call statistics (see below)
c. Programmed button to take the token (AA)
d. Programmed button to relinquish the token (BB)
e. Programmed button to register a request for the token (CC)
f. Programmed button to delete a request for the token (DD)
(3) Each participant is given an identifier, which can be announced on entry to the conference

    The items of information which are important in TFS, and should be available via the visual readout at all times are:

(1) Who is speak...