The LookingGlass distributed shared workspace
This paper describes a shared workspace system known as the LookingGlass. The system allows pairs of geographically distributed designers to work together in real-time via a computer-based shared drawing surface, a video link and an audio link. The system integrates many of the features found in previous shared drawing surface systems and additionally provides eye-to-eye contact between the users; awareness of onea's partner's direction of gaze in relation to oneself and the worksurface; and the ability to communicate using gestures in relation to the worksurface. These features are achieved in the LookingGlass system using a technique referred to as ‘video-overlay’ which combines a full screen video image of a remote partner with a full screen shared drawing surface. Various configurations of video-overlay have been explored and the results of these studies are presented. The results of trials into the suitability of the LookingGlass for various types of design work are also presented and described.