I See What You're Hearing: Facilitating The Effect of Environment on Perceived Emotion While Teleconferencing


Our perception of emotion is highly contextual. Changes in the environment can affect our narrative framing, and thus augment our emotional perception of interlocutors. User environments are typically heavily suppressed due to the technical limitations of commercial videoconferencing platforms. As a result, there is often a lack of contextual awareness while participating in a video call, and this affects how we perceive the emotions of conversants. We present a videoconferencing module that visualizes the user’s aural environment to enhance awareness between interlocutors. The system visualizes environmental sound based on its semantic and acoustic properties. We found that our visualization system was about 50% effective at eliciting emotional perceptions in users that was similar to the response elicited by environmental sound it replaced.The contributed system provides a unique approach to facilitate ambient awareness on an implicit emotional level in situations where multimodal environmental context is suppressed.

Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction