Collaboration

Olympus: Enhancing Online Meetings With Avatars

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Executive Summary

Organizations are increasingly using online meetings to save on travel costs. There also has been recent interest in representing users in these e-meetings as animated avatars. as well as dots, text, and pictures. As interest grows in these different forms of online meetings, it is important to discern if avatars can add value, such as addressing issues around trust, isolation, attention, and awareness. This paper describes Olympus, a prototype one built to explore issues around avatars in c-meetings. The prototype is a Rash-based (www.adobe.corn'flashplatlon1) strip of avatars that acts as a peripheral display in an existing c-meeting interface, providing awareness of meeting participants. Users can choose to replace the avatars with dots or pictures.

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