Objective and Goal The MERCO project will produce fixed and mobile groupware that can be immediately deployed with the project partners to improve net-based collaboration. For enhanced user experience, this project will address three layers of communication: task space, workspace and communication space. Basic sensing and display components currently exist to implement multi-way communication systems that incorporate these layers. By integrating and demonstrating cutting-edge uses of such software and hardware components, this project will deliver tangible results for real use. Result and Expected Effects With co-located teams, information is exchanged not only as artifacts generated in the shared task space, but also with pointing gestures, adding extra meaning to spoken words. As such, a communication space also carries facial expressions, nodding or shrugging, verbal communication and eye contact. An outcome of this project will be new understanding and the creation of system design solutions that show how these layers of communication must be captured, aligned, and correctly transferred for effective and user-friendly net-based collaboration. Approach and Implementation Sensing of users posture and gesture is examined for large, fixed devices (interactive walls and tables) and light handheld devices (tablets and smartphones). User studies examine how gestures must be captured, transferred and perceived by remote partners to foster good work practice and convincing user experience. ETH and Chalmers provide strong experience in user-interface research. The industrial partners AVS and Intelliconcept are system integrators; Ericsson offers a setting for systems validation; Semcon provides human factors; and Touchtech provides software design.
Full Professor at Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction Design (Chalmers)
Funding Chalmers participation during 2014–2016