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Automated Door Attendant

B.C. Nguyen, J. Pollack, J. Cooperstock

An electronic kiosk provides an interactive environment wherein visitors may obtain desired information. In general, these spaces make use of limited, unimodal interaction methods (i.e., text and graphics for output and touch-screen selections for input). Our objective is to augment such interaction with higher level modalities of video and speech. The purpose is to mask the fact that an individual is dealing with a computer rather than another person. The more human-like the computer is made to appear, the more natural and less intimidating the interaction becomes, regardless of one's computer expertise. Simply put, it is easier to ask for information than to search for it by pressing buttons. In order to evaluate such a system outside of a laboratory context, we have prototyped an automated door attendant, which functions as a "secretary in a door," tailored for the needs of a professor's office. The technology includes a video monitor, speaker, microphone, and camera, and uses speech recognition and speech synthesis to support interaction through speech. The attendant greets visitors who stop in front of the office, allows them to leave messages, schedule appointments, and review pertinent documents through a Web browser.

Annual Report

Fri Nov 26 23:00:32 GMT 1999