I read a while back about how for kids enrolled in online classes, teachers had a hard time telling who was being attentive during lectures without streaming video from every single student. This could be a good lower-bandwidth way to ensure kids are actually present, while also acting as a nice anti-bullying measure since they can't be judged on the quality of their real clothes or housing if it's not a real video.
People are playful and I can imagine that a remote settings is akin to some sort of playful roleplaying setting. So you build your avatar around your remote workstyle - can be funny in a setting where every one knows his peers.
This is similar to workplace settings: casual/avatar if you are not facing customers, formal/no-avatar if you face customers.
Could be cool to see, what happens in the future. Even iPhone supports those live emoji face masks.
I've worked remote for years, and never wanted anything more than a basic "do not disturb" status. The creator says they're doing this to address loneliness, but some of us don't have a problem with addressing loneliness via text (or we get enough socializing in outside of work to be content). For people like me, this type of tool just creates extra mental overhead and distractions. I get that some people are into this because it's neat tech, but I'm really not convinced that it's a real value-add rather than a fad.
Masks have started to arrive! Only a couple more decades until we give up on video entirely.
> “In the air-ship —” He broke off, and she fancied that he looked sad. She could not be sure, for the Machine did not transmit nuances of expression. It only gave a general idea of people — an idea that was good enough for all practical purposes, Vashti thought. The imponderable bloom, declared by a discredited philosophy to be the actual essence of intercourse, was rightly ignored by the Machine, just as the imponderable bloom of the grape was ignored by the manufacturers of artificial fruit. Something “good enough” had long since been accepted by our race.
Also, are there any unexpected positive or negative outcomes so far? For example, do people feel pressured to smile or anything else like that?
I'm still exploring for sure - but there are benefits to some of the limits. I'd love a more realtime mode for when people are actually in a conversation in our product, but haven't gotten that working perfectly yet.
We initially felt pressure to smile before I made the default a pseudo-smile (check out the three faces in the blog post). Now the "neutral" face looks somewhat happy so no more complaints.
On the flip side my wife works for a heavily distributed company and their solution is "you must always have video on for zoom". It's not a bad idea, but sometimes you can't or don't want to have video on - especially when you're call is at 7am (or earlier) to support people in timezones farther ahead.
It would be awesome to have a little dashboard of my teammates with decent integrations (like shown) to know when they are actually around and have some feeling of teamdom... without having my video or audio on all the time. Having video on for long duration is certainly a lot creepier than working in an office.
And I could really see a use case for when bandwidth is a problem for true video calls... next to full video, streaming the avatar info would be next to nothing - so it could turn "video" calls into basically just the audio as far as the internet connection is concerned.
Overall goal is to help with loneliness of remote work and make people feel more comfortable just starting audio / video conversations with one another.
The half-empty view is that it's "fake happiness" but the half-full view is that it better conveys your intent to your team, that you are (hopefully) happy to be hanging out and getting work done with them. A wall of smiles also makes people feel more welcome and included than a wall of meh.
Still room to play with this though.