Abstract: A new voice communication medium, which the author calls "voiscape", will probably appear in near future. Voiscape shall have much improved user interface than the conventional voice communication systems, i.e., telephone and conference systems, and be based on the IP-based conferencing and spatial audio technologies. The author has developed a prototype toward voiscape, which has made a step toward solving two problems of the conventional systems i.e., complicated and restricted conference control and lack of crossed-over multi-context support, by introducing two features. The first function is the virtual-location based communication; i.e., the users can talk with other users and move, in a way similar to face-to-face conversation, in a virtual auditory space created by spatial audio technology without explicit session and floor control. The second function is personalized policy-based communication control; i.e., the users can specify communication policies that protects their privacy and reduce required resources. This function is enabled by a distributed policy-arbitration mechanism. Experiments showed that the basic mechanisms and the policy-based control with a simple policy worked well.
Introduction to this research theme: voiscape