JJ Cadiz, Anoop Gupta, and Yong Rui
One vision of future technology is the ability to easily and inexpensively capture any group meeting that occurs, store it, and make it available for people to view anytime and anywhere on the network. One barrier to achieving this vision has been the design of low-cost camera systems that can capture all important aspects of the meeting without needing a human camera operator. A promising solution that has emerged recently is omni-directional cameras that can capture a 360-degree video of the entire meeting. The panoramic capability provided by these cameras raises both new opportunities and new issues for the interfaces provided for post-meeting viewers – for example, do we show all meeting participants all the time or do we just show the person who is speaking, how much control do we provide to the end-user in selecting the view, and will providing this control distract them from their task. These are not just user-interface issues, they also raise tradeoffs for the client-server systems used to deliver such content. They impact how much data needs to be stored on the disk, what computation can be done on the server vs. the client, and how much bandwidth is needed. We report on a prototype system built using an omni-directional camera and results from user studies of interface preferences expressed by viewers.