(Software support for video-mediated communication)
This thesis explores the integration of video in computer interactive systems in the context of computer mediated communication. In this context, computers can digitize, transmit, process and display video streams but also control analog video devices. Our approach is both scientific and technological, and focuses on the uses of video: we seek to identify the requirements to support a wide variety of existing uses, from informal group awareness to formal collaboration, and we also seek to provide the software tools needed to support these uses.
The thesis is organized in three parts. The first part introduces several commercial and research systems that illustrate the existing uses of video in interactive systems. We describe Media Space environments in more details and we characterize them by three fundamental properties: integrability, flexibility and privacy. The second part is devoted to the use of the languages, protocols and browsers of the World Wide Web as a software infrastructure for the design and implementation of new mediaspaces. We justify this approach with the three properties identified in the first part. We present Mediascape and videoServer, two prototypes that implement this approach, and we show how adding dedicated clients and protocols can extend it. These extensions lead us to the design and implementation of videoSpace, a software toolkit that we present in the third part. We describe the programming interface of the toolkit and the basic tools it provides, and we conclude by presenting three sets of prototypes that illustrate its potential and the new uses of video it will allow in the future.
Computer mediated communication, video, video conferencing, mediaspace, interactive systems, CSCW, groupware, human-computer interaction.