Visiphone Design Insights?

August 18, 2004

in Chat & IM, Knowledge Innovation, Social Software

In a little item on Smart Mobs there is a post that is much more intriguing. Visiphoneuses visual aids to help you and me improve our awareness of each other. It enables a new form of visual communication to support audio and enhance the communication experience. I particularly identified with the graphics below as a monitor for individual or group exchanges.

Using an audio-only speaker phone to provide a continuous, long-term connection has several drawbacks: in a noisy environment, it is difficult to know whether one’s voice has carried or to know to pay attention to new voices emerging from the phone; long periods of silence make it easy to forget the device, which then takes on the unwanted quality of unobtrusive surveillance.

VisiPhone displays two parallel visualizations, one derived from the local sound reaching the device (input audio) and the other from the sound emanating from it (output audio). We are experimenting with several designs for the visualizations. For example, one basic design depicts filtered frequency with hue, creating bursts of color when someone is speaking. With this display, one is able to see at a glance if someone is speaking at the other end and can tell if one’s own voice has carried over the ambient noise to audibly reach the listeners at the other end.

Representing Speaker A & Speaker B

Representing both Speakers

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