Comparison of Gaze and Mouse Pointers for Video-based Collaborative Physical Task
Remote collaboration on physical tasks is an emerging use of video telephony. Recent work suggests that conveying gaze information measured using an eye tracker between collaboration partners could be beneficial in this context. However, studies that compare gaze to other pointing mechanisms, such as a mouse-controlled pointer, in video-based collaboration, have not been available. We conducted a controlled user study to compare the two remote gesturing mechanisms (mouse, gaze) to video only (none) in a situation where a remote expert saw video of the desktop of a worker where his/her mouse or gaze pointer was projected. We also investigated the effect of distraction of the remote expert on the collaborative process and whether the effect depends on the pointing device. Our result suggests that mouse and gaze pointers lead to faster task performance and improved perception of the collaboration, in comparison to having no pointer at all. The mouse outperformed the gaze when the task required conveying procedural instructions. In addition, using gaze for remote gesturing required increased verbal effort for communicating both referential and procedural messages.