Presence and Portrayal

June 2005

software, computer vision, faces, perception, mit media lab, bt

Presence and Portrayal

Presence and Portrayal was a BT project with Judith Donath of the MIT Media Lab.

This project explored the issues of video-conferencing in the home. In such an environment, the lighting is often imperfect, the scene cluttered and camera poorly placed for eye-gaze awareness. As a result, people often lack the sense of their partner's presence and are dissatisfied with their own portrayal in video. We were looking to see if video manipulations, such as sketch generation or background blurring, improved the user's experience. Having developed the algorithms at the MIT Media Lab (in C++), an experiment with 36 participants was run at BT.

A full description of this work is to be found in: Presence and Portrayal: video for casual home dialogues, ACM Multimedia 2006 [PDF].