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Eye tracking based interaction management of synchronous written communication

The DFG project, eye tracking based interaction management of synchronous written communication (ebiss), designs and tests eye tracking as the basis of an innovative interaction management and for the attraction of attention in synchronous written communication.

Starting point for this project is the observation that communication systems that facilitate synchronous written communication are well established and widely utilised despite several alternatives, like video conferencing. Problems frequently arise in the sequence of the interaction, as participants can type at any time including in parallel. Conventions known from verbal communication, as well as the many implicit signals exchanged by the participants, are only partially applied in synchronous written communication. In synchronous written communication these hints are missing and situations arise where new rules of interaction need to be established.

One possibility to establish verbal interaction management in synchronous written communication, is the extension of the technical setup with the aim to supply missing information and to offer more comprehensive avenues of interaction.

Eye tracking, the capture, analysis and mirroring back of eye movements of the communication partners, when applied to synchronous written communication, represents an additional channel for the transmission of human actions in order to support interaction management.

The analysis and mirroring back of eye tracking data incorporates communication patterns developed in linguistics. Communication patterns describe a structured sequence of communication processes. The aims of this undertaking are the analysis of the special features of the interaction management of synchronous written communication on the one hand, and based on that, the development of validated design recommendations for eye tracking based communication tools. This basic research is of great interest against the backdrop of the current wide spread adoption of eye tracking hardware.