My group, Group 1 aka the Spicy Girls created “Waves of Meeting.” created a handheld device called that drop that hooks up to a computer to measure attention levels in a video call. If your paying attention your screen will stay clear but if you are not paying attention your image in the video call will fill up with a wave graphic. We were inspired by a tactic used by railroad conductors. Conductors must hold on to a lever while they drive to show their alertness. We decided to take this idea one step further and use the grip of a person to determine their level of attention in an online video call.
This is meant to be used for calls that are lead by one or several people where not everyone is actively talking at all times. We felt that video calls were missing a reaction from viewers and it was hard to tell if people were looking at their phone, doing other work on their computer, talking to there in the room, or just zoning out. You can never tell when someone is actively engaged in a video call. In real life, you can read body language and see if people are on their phone but over a video call, you don’t get that.
In our project, you hold a device called that drop that measures your grip strength either through how hard your holding or through how much contact the sensor has with your skin. If you are actively listening and holding on to the device you will see a sun on your screen and your device will light up. If you are not actively listening and your grip starts to slack or if you let go of the device to text then a wave will slowly start to cover your face on the screen until it ultimately goes black and you get kicked out of the video call. This wave fluctuates throughout the meeting based on how tightly you hold on to the device so it may only cover the bottom of your face if you’re mostly paying attention, or 2/3 of your face if you are mostly not paying attention. It shows the varying degrees of attentiveness. This device is both meant for the other attendees to be able to see your level of attention and for you to have the incentive to pay attention.
In the future, we may add on to this device to let it show other things than just attentiveness. Maybe it will allow you to give reactions. If you like something the speaker is saying you could fill your screen with emojis or something like that. We liked the metaphor of a wave because people’s attention wanders and changes like the tides.
To get a better understanding please watch the two videos below. The first is a video explaining how it works and the second is a live demonstration of the technology in action.
Here are some photos of our poster, the waves covering different peoples screens and process photos of the creation of the Drop.