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wednesday :: december 4, 2002
> Inanna: godddess of trans-formative relationships
eye gaze
:: implications for new-age technology

Noting that the eyes have long been described as mirrors of the soul, a Queen's University computer scientist is studying the effect of eye gaze on conversation and the implications for new-age technologies, ranging from video conferencing to speech recognition systems.

Dr. Roel Vertegaal, has found evidence to suggest a strong link between the amount of eye contact people receive and their degree of participation in group communications. Eye contact is known to increase the number of turns a person will take when part of a group conversation. The goal of this study was to determine what type of 'gaze' (looking at a person’s eyes and face) is required to have this effect.

The findings have important implications for the design of future communication devices, including more user-friendly and sensitive video conferencing systems – a technology increasingly chosen in business for economic and time-saving reasons – and Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) which support communication between people and machines.

"Sumerian clay tablets dating back to 3000 BC already tell the story of Ereshkigal, goddess of the underworld, who had the power to kill Inanna, goddess of love, with a deadly eye," says Dr. Vertegaal. "Now that we are attempting to build more sophisticated conversational interfaces that mirror the communicative capabilities of their users, it has become clear we need to learn more about communicative functions of gaze behaviours." >from "Eye contact findings may change new-age technology", november 20, 2002.

related context
eye tracking research & applications symposium 2002. march, 2002

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