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Browse Prior Art Database

Eye to Eye Contact for Desk to Desk Video Conferencing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109021D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 115K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Ahearn, W: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Disclosed is a scheme to enable desk top video conference users to modify their systems so that eye contact can be made between participants. Two mirrors, one half-silvered, are used to shift the apparent location of a screen image to be directly in front of a camera which is capturing the user's expression. The image can be adjusted in size and position.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Eye to Eye Contact for Desk to Desk Video Conferencing

       Disclosed is a scheme to enable desk top video conference
users to modify their systems so that eye contact can be made between
participants.  Two mirrors, one half-silvered, are used to shift the
apparent location of a screen image to be directly in front of a
camera which is capturing the user's expression.  The image can be
adjusted in size and position.

      Most video conferencing systems have the video camera mounted
above the screen.  Thus, when users look at the image on the screen,
their image, as recorded by the camera, is one of a person looking
downward.  A complaint about video conferencing systems is that the
participants appear depressed because they seem to always have their
eyes downcast and do not make eye contact.  This is a problem of the
design and not of the users.  In the absence of direct eye contact,
video interactions have an unnatural quality which is not present in
face-to-face conversations.  In desk top conferencing systems (1)
which use conventional personal computer monitors and display the
video image in a window, the problem is particularly apparent.
Studies have shown that improved eye contact increases satisfaction
with video conferencing as a medium for negotiation [2]. Improved eye
contact allows video conferencing users to evaluate more confidently
their counterparts, and to participate more comfortably in exchanging
information.

      The disclosed device may be adapted to existing VDUs to allow
direct eye contact.  It includes a mirror 1 held in front of and
facing the VDU2 and a half-silvered plate 3 (2-way mirror) which is
positioned parallel to the mirror but above or to the side of the
VDU1 facing the observer 4, (Fig. 1).  The lens of the camera 5 is
set behind the half-silvered plate 3.  An opaque housing 6 ensures
that the plate is reflective with respect to the observer 4 and
transparent with respect to the camera 5.  An observer 4 looking
directly at the plate 3 sees a virtual image 7 of the portion of the
monitor facing the mirror even though his/her gaze is into the camera
5.  This image system removes parallax so that users at different
locations seem to be looking directly at one another.  This device is
similar to teleprompter systems used by television newsreaders.

      The novelty of this embodiment is that it is portable and can
be readily attached to almost any Personal Computer VDU.  It is
intended to be used with a windowing syst...