Today, a large amount of companies organize their work in globally distributed teams. People work together without meeting each other in. Despite the richness provided by video, a meeting supported by technologies still does not compare to a collocated face-to-face one. Therefore, a significant body of research has focused on bringing the feeling of ‘sitting together’ to the video meeting by improving the videoconferencing technology to include information intrinsic to the collocated meeting, such as eye-contact and non-verbal cues.
A team of researchers from the Pervasive Interaction Technology Laboratory at IT University in Copenhagen, Denmark, introduced the SideBar videoconferencing system at CollaborateCom 2014. Morten Esbensen, Paolo Tell and Jakob E. Bardram developed a system that focuses on supporting social engagement. The SideBar system extends a traditional videoconferencing system with a tablet computer for each participant of the meeting.
SideBar connects interactive video with personal profiles and the locations of the participants, and a marking and communication backchannel for sharing notes, text materials and so on. The goal is to make the meeting feel almost as a real one, and increase social awareness among the team members.
The whole paper can be accessed here.