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  Technical Report: Enhancing Distributed Corporate Meetings with 'Lightweight' Avatars

Enhancing Distributed Corporate Meetings with 'Lightweight' Avatars

Technical Report #:10-03
Author(s): N. Sadat Shami, Li-Te Cheng, Steven Rohall, Andrew Sempere, John Patterson

Abstract

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The difficulties remote participants of distributed meetings face are widely recognized. In this paper we describe the design of an avatar-based e-meeting support tool named Olympus, which aims to ameliorate some of the challenges remote participants face in distributed meetings. Olympus provides a customizable peripheral display on the bottom of existing e-meeting solutions. An initial observational study was conducted of the use of Olympus in 6 meetings, three each of a status meeting and a presentation meeting. Avatars fostered team bonding through social play during status meetings, while minimalist dots allowed focused attention during presentation meetings.

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