To keep viewers' attention, a video conferencing system developed by Bell Labs adapts its video streams to the user's emotions.
At a conference, maintaining the attention of the audience can be a real obstacle course. This assertion is all the more true in the context of a videoconference, where the image quality may be unsuitable for the needs of the viewers.
A team of Bell Labs from Alcatel-Lucent was therefore interested in optimizing video streams to keep the attention of anyone attending a videoconference. Their device, presented on June 20 at the Open Days Bell Labs, uses affective computing, i.e. devices capable of recognizing and synthesizing human emotions, and applies it to videoconferencing technology.
Adapting the best video stream to a particular viewer is done by implementing two types of tools that will analyze user behavior. The first, a camera, allows physical behaviour to be identified through facial recognition. The second is a sensor that measures brain waves and the user's state of stress. The use of brain waves is the most advanced part of our method," the researchers explain. It allows us to quickly and efficiently obtain readings on the user's attention level. »
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Software based on a Hidden Markov model then retrieves this data stored on a server and aggregates it to determine a video stream that will attract more attention than another. In addition, the speaker can also intervene and generate video streams using keywords or key gestures.
Towards a new viewing mode
This optimization allows us to present an image that is more in line with user expectations," continued Bell Labs researchers. It could have many areas of application. "Among these examples, the researchers give the example of education, and online courses that broadcast video content would be the first to benefit. The measurements collected by the camera and the brain wave sensor provide instant feedback to the teacher, who can then generate videos that are better suited to the students' concentration. Another possibility could be the use of the principle during sporting events: it would allow viewers to focus on what really interests them.
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