Elevating Communication, Collaboration, and Shared Experiences between Peers in Mobile Video Communication using Drones
Brennan Jones. (2016). Elevating Communication, Collaboration, and Shared Experiences between Peers in Mobile Video Communication using Drones.
People are increasingly using mobile video conferencing (e.g., Skype, FaceTime, Hangouts) to communicate, collaborate, and share experiences while on the go. Yet this presents challenges in adequately sharing camera views with remote users. In this thesis, I study the use of semi-autonomous drones for video conferencing, where an outdoor user (using a smartphone) is connected to a desktop user (e.g., who is at home or in an office) who can explore the environment from the drone’s perspective. I describe findings from a study where pairs collaborated to complete shared navigation and search tasks. I illustrate the benefits of providing the desktop user with a view that is elevated, manipulable, and decoupled from the outdoor user. In addition, I articulate how participants overcame challenges in communicating environmental information and navigational cues, negotiated control of the view, and used the drone as a tool for sharing experiences. This provides a new way of thinking about mobile video conferencing, where cameras that are decoupled from both users play an integral role in communication, collaboration, and sharing experiences.