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Perspective on and Re-orientation of Physical Proxies in Object-Focused Remote Collaboration

Martin Feick; Terrance Mok; Anthony Tang; Lora Oehlberg; Ehud Sharlin
In: Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI-2018), April 21-26, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Pages 281:1-281:13, CHI '18, ISBN 978-1-4503-5620-6, ACM, 2018.


Remote collaborators working together on physical objects have difficulty building a shared understanding of what each person is talking about. Conventional video chat systems are insufficient for many situations because they present a single view of the object in a flattened image. To understand how this limited perspective affects collaboration, we designed the Remote Manipulator (ReMa), which can reproduce orientation manipulations on a proxy object at a remote site. We conducted two studies with ReMa, with two main findings. First, a shared perspective is more effective and preferred compared to the opposing perspective offered by conventional video chat systems. Second, the physical proxy and video chat complement one another in a combined system: people used the physical proxy to understand objects, and used video chat to perform gestures and confirm remote actions.

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