Two Places at Once: A Twinned Media Space

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See also Amy's Bibliography and timeline

Background and Motivation

Media Spaces typically connect distance-separated people through always on video. However, it demands that everyone not only runs the media space, but that they are willing to spend the time/personal cost/equipment etc. to have that distant person 'in your face'. Yet consider the case of a telecommuter. I'll use myself as an example. I work at home at least two days a week, and need to talk to students, visitors, etc. Currently, I use instant messaging and Community Bar to connect to the people I need to. Yet this demands that all others in iLab include me in their IM list (and that they use my IM of preference, which is google talk), or that they subscribe to Community Bar and keep it on their display. This is clearly heavyweight, and in fact only a sub-group are willing to do this.

But... I have a physical office at the University. Instead of people connecting to me electronically through their space/computer, why shouldn't I just 'twin' my presence by connecting myself to my distant office? That way, people can come to my office to talk to me (as if I were physically there). if I wanted to get in touch with them, I could send a 'come see me' email.

Method

To make this work, we need several things.

Risk

Comment

I think this is a fun project, with lots of opportunity for thinking about design, phidgets, distributed communication, video, etc. Doable in a modest amount of time.