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THE EFFECT OF SPATIAL CUES IN AUGMENTED REALITY VIDEO CONFERENCING Hirokazu Kato a , Mark Billinghurst b , Kentaro Morinaga a , Keihachiro Tachibana a a Faculty of Information Sciences, Hiroshima City University 3-4-1, Ozuka-higashi, Asaminami-ku, Hiroshima 731-3194 Japan b Human Interface Technology Laboratory, University of Washington Box 352-142, Seattle, WA 98195 USA ABSTRACT In this paper we introduce an Augmented Reality video conferencing system and show some results of the evaluation. The AR user can see remote users on paper cards in real world. The user can freely put virtual monitors. Then they can use spatial cues to get the communication smoothly. Also we appended a new function that eliminates background scene of desktop users. Evaluation results showed that video images play a important role for both AR and desktop users even if HMD occludes AR user’s eyes. Desktop user could identify the conversation relationship from AR user’s face angle. Also we expected that the elimination of background scene increases co-presence, but we could not confirm that from the experiments. 1. INTRODUCTION Recently many communication technologies such as a mobile technology have been developed and we can expect that many kinds of communication systems will be used in near future. The idea to integrate visual channel to audio communication is quite old. However video communication systems have not spread widely yet because they have some technical difficulties. One of the biggest problems was narrow bandwidth for image transmission, but it will be resolved by the advance of wireless or optical communication technologies and compression technologies. In the current situation, system developments with the consideration of human factors would be more important for the video communication. We have been developing a video conferencing system in Augmented Reality (AR) environment (Kato 1999). Remote persons are displayed in virtual monitors on physical markers by using see-through Head Mounted Display (HMD). The advantages of the system are as follows: 1) It is suitable for mobile use because it dose not need traditional displays. 2) It can change the size of display in appearance from hand-on size to actual human size. 3) Virtual monitors can be put freely in the physical workspace. These mean that the user can use the spatial cues which traditional systems dose not have. Therefore we think our system is effective for recognition of communication relationships and give some influences to co-presence with re- mote persons. However it also has disadvantage of eyes occluded by HMD. In this paper, we introduce our video conferencing system and shows some results of the evaluation. 2. AUGMENTED REALITY VIDEO CONFERENCING
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