Investigating what matters in video communication at home
The theme of this research is to discover insights into user acceptance of different type of video communication devices at home. What features could be added to the existing PC + webcam paradigm to make video calling a more compelling option? We have played with form factors and feature sets and ended up with a working prototype.
Jeppe is your new best friend
It is fun to play with Jeppe. Testing with families and individual users has shown that Jeppe surprises those moving it and those watching him move. We hope that a later version will be better able to move by himself – being more of a real pet in your home. With his camera, Jeppe can capture images and video from wherever you or he chooses to go shoot.
Jeppe is a new way to connect with friends and family
Jeppe is born to be social. A key feature is the ability to make video calls. Powered by movements and gestures, the connection is far livelier than the boring webcam stream you might have seen on a PC screen.
In addition to “active videoconferencing”, you get a nice look around the house through the eyes of Jeppe, watching at what the people at home are up to. This kind of “passive conferencing” can make you feel closer to your home and family when far away. You can also check on the house when everybody is away, or just to see that the coffee machine was turned off.
Jeppe in action
Jeppe is built with modest components but still has quite a range of functionality
This is what Jeppe can do (as of July 2008):
- Make video calls with two-way audio, one-way video (from Jeppe to controller)
- Move according to six pre-defined gestures
- Move around when controlled with a Nokia Internet Tablet in the same WLAN: not remotely, yet
Jeppe wants you to develop further functionality to it
This is what Jeppe really would like to do:
- Be remotely controlled over the Internet
- Be more easily expandable so that users could create their own gestures
- Move independently: know his position and routes to other places
- Gather all kinds of data from its surroundings, other devices etc. and send them to the user or a web service
How Jeppe works
At this stage of the prototyping and research process, Jeppe wants to see the world. He would love to meet you and your colleagues. If you feel ready, willing and able to teach him a couple of new tricks – or just play around, give Extended Home team leader Seamus a word about it.