A technique for supporting multiparty video conferencing. Has shown be far superior to conventional voice-activated switching (VAS). Is a hybrid between VAS and Portholes -like functionality. By default, like with VAS, the current speaker appears in the main motion video display. As well, all other participants are visible in slow-scan images, as with Portholes. Participants can change their view of who they focus their attention upon by simply pointing at their Portholes image. In addition, users are aware of who is gazing at them through feedback provided on their display. A mechanism for making private aside comments between participants is also provided.
This was written in C and runs on the Macintosh. Along with using the standard infrastructure it also uses an AKAI switch, a synthesizer, a Pitchrider and a noise gate in order to interpret who is speaking and control the devices in the appropriate way.
Coupled with a product like Vis-a-Vis, this provides the most flexible and powerful paradigm for multiparty desktop meetings. The technique effectively leverages existing technologies, and could be developed on top of existing products now. The idea is original to Telepresence.
There are few, other than the original market will require a certain base infrastructure (LAN connectivity and VAS multipoint unit), therefore limiting the initial market size. Will require significant development work to productize. However, working prototype has been demonstrated.
Prototype has been built and tested. Concept has been proven effective.