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Bobs

Gestural telepresence

This work is very inspired by Beyond Being There, and InTouch. Bobs is an attempt to preserve some of the privacy of attending an event remotely while alleviating the alienation of talking to a wall of black squares involved in remote meetings, lectures, and presentations, and to make remote guests in hybrid events a bit more embodied.

Bobs is still very early concept work, and the details, as such, are still in flux. At present (in concept, and not in prototypes), Bobs consist of an "input Bob" which can be used by a remote participant, and connects to an "output Bob" located at the physical center of an event, be it in a classroom, conference room, or the presenter's living space.

Bobs have exactly 2 functions. First, when an input Bob is connected to a meeting, the input Bob and output Bob both light up the same color. Second, a user can rock an input Bob, causing the same motion in the connected output Bob. This bobbing motion is what gives Bobs their name. It allows for a user to simulate a nod, and a minimal level of feedback and communicating interest, while still being in their pajamas, in a crowded room full of kids and pets, experiencing slow wifi, or otherwise unable to turn their camera on.