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Design of user interface for tele-consultation system over the Web

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4 Author(s)
T. Tanaka ; Syst. Dev. Lab., Hitachi Ltd., Kawasaki, Japan ; A. Koga ; H. Mizuno ; H. Yajima

There is a growing need to provide various services through two-way communications via a computer network that facilitates real-time consultation. Videophone and shared-window functions, which support two-way communications, are not in themselves adequate to provide smooth tele-consultation. This is because a consultation can often be interrupted owing to problems caused by a customer's lack of knowledge of how to operate the tele-consultation terminal. We assume that expert staff members will take the initiative during a consultation. “Tele-monitoring” and “tele-operating” are functions that support expert staff as they take the initiative. These functions are designed to aid customers who are having problems in completing a tele-consultation. We evaluated the performance of a prototype tele-consultation system in an experiment. The experiment showed that the tele-operating function is effective in shortening the completion time of tele-consultation if expert staff do not need to explain how to operate the terminal. The results of this work suggest that an effective means of supporting tele-consultation is to enable expert staff to take control of the customer's terminal to compensate for the customer's lack of skill and experience in using the interface equipment

Published in:

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 1999. IEEE SMC '99 Conference Proceedings. 1999 IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:2 )

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