FocalSpace: Enhancing Users' Focus on Foreground through Diminishing the Background

Yao, L. "FocalSpace: Enhancing Users' Focus on Foreground through Diminishing the Background"


In this document we introduce FocalSpace, a video conferencing system that helps users focus on the foreground by diminishing the background through synthetic blur effects. The system can dynamically recognize the relevant and important activities and objects through depth sensors and various cues such as voices, gestures, proximity to drawing surfaces, and physical markers.

FocalSpace can help direct remote participants' focus, save transmission bandwidth, remove irrelevant pixels, protect privacy, and conserve display space for augmented content.

The key of this research lies in augmenting user experience through diminishing irrelevant information, based on the philosophy of "less is more." In short, we use DR (Diminished Reality) to improve communication.

Based on our philosophy of "less is more", we describe some design concepts and applications beyond the video conferencing system. We explain how the approach of "AR through DR" can be utilized in driving, and sport-watching experiences.

In this document, we detail the system design for FocalSpace, a 3-D tracking and localization technology used. We also discuss some initial user observations and suggest further directions.

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