The GazeDisplay is my Final Master Project for Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology. It is a research project that investigates how we can visualize gaze direction in telecommunication and how it affects the social experience.

With data from an eye tracker, the GazeDisplay is able to show where the person at the other end of the conversation is looking to. In this way it facilitates triadic and dyadic joint attention. This is the act of mutual attention and shared attention on an external object, which are important aspects of real life interactions.

Research Findings

Through a task based experiment I found that the participants could use the GazeDisplay to understand the attention and focus of the remote person, giving them a richer palette of interaction possibilities and thereby a greater presence at the remote location.

In the experiment, participants were able to use the gaze information to assess the attention and understanding of the remote user and some participants experienced a feeling of connection when they saw the circle on the display. The nature of gaze makes it highly contextually dependent which social significance it has. Used in another context the GazeDisplay may support other social functions.

Compared to other designs, that often require complex technical setups to enable gaze awareness in video conferencing, this is a light-weight approach that can facilitate social eye functionalities either stand alone or as a supplement to a video feed. This can be particularly interesting for fields such as telemedicine.