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Deixis and points of view in media spaces: an empirical gesture.
Barnard, P., May, J. & Salber, D.
Behaviour and Information Technology, 15(1) 37-50
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Claims are being made that videophone facilities on microcomputers allow more effective communication between geographically separated colleagues. This can only be true if the video image helps the viewers understand each other. This study examines factors affecting the comprehension of deictic reference in videophone communication, and concludes that the standard face-to-face view found on many systems does not allow gestures made towards shared areas of the screen to be understood when the verbal information is ambiguous. Empirical evidence of this form is of both theoretical and practical interest, informing our understanding of how readily people adapt their communication styles, while providing specific information of relevance to the design of shared media spaces. Where deictic reference is involved, it is necessary to understand which cues are likely to resolve the reference, in which dimensions, and the extent to which the cues provided are likely to achieve that end.