Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Visualizing Audio Cues

Today at Interact 2007 I discovered the work of Tony Bergstrom who happens to be Karrie Karahalios's student. He presented today the Conversation Clock table.

On the Conversation Clock table, lapel microphones monitor conversation while the visualization of history is projected in the center. The Conversation Clock provides a visual history of interaction and communication. Each contribution displays bars colored to indicate the speakers’ identities. The lengths of these bars indicate the degree of participation, measured by volume. As a conversation progresses, a history is built with concentric rings reminiscent of the rings on a tree.



The Conversation Clock displays various conversational cues such as turn taking, interruption, conversational dominance, silence, agreement, aural back-channels, mimicry, time spans, rhythm and flow. If an individual has not been speaking, their lack of aural contribution is made clear in the rings. Of course, if individual is speaking at length and dominating the conversation, one can easily observe this as well. Aspects such as interruption, silences, and argument also make visual impressions on the table.

As a result, the Conversation Clock allows people to interpret their role in interaction. The visualization of audio allows people who speak the most to regulate their speech and speak less and the persons who speak the less to speak more.
"Live visualization of audio through social mirrors can provide influential cues for
individual participation in conversation. Participants alter themselves in order
to equalize the contribution of individuals."

Paper to download

1 comment:

Olivier Vaubourg said...

Je vois bien l'utilisation de cette table "à égaliser les temps de paroles" lors des débats télévisés des élections présidentielles !

Sérieusement. Cela me semble ludique et intéressant dans le cadre de séances de psychologie de groupe travaillant sur les complexes d'infériorité et de grandes timidités...

Ironiquement. Quelle horreur d'imaginer ça dans une salle de réunion où le boss pourrait ainsi visualiser et quantifier le niveau de participation des présents.
Peut-être qu'une version plus "illustration" que "equalization" des conversations serait finalement plus appréciable, hors contexte médicale...