Video Chat with Multiple Cameras
Computer Science - Human-Computer Interaction | Computer Science - Multimedia | C.4 | H.5.1
The dominant paradigm for video chat employs a single camera at each end of the conversation, but some conversations can be greatly enhanced by using multiple cameras at one or both ends. This paper provides the first rigorous investigation of multi-camera video chat, concentrating especially on the ability of users to switch between views at either end of the conversation. A user study of 23 individuals analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of permitting a user to switch between views at a remote location. Benchmark experiments employing up to four webcams simultaneously demonstrate that multi-camera video chat is feasible on consumer hardware. The paper also presents the design of MultiCam, a software package permitting multi-camera video chat. Some important trade-offs in the design of MultiCam are discussed, and typical usage scenarios are analyzed.