Daniel Avrahami, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist

Daniel Avrahami

Daniel Avrahami joined FXPAL as a Senior Research Scientist in May 2014.  His research focus is on Ubiquitous Computing, Mixed Media, and Context Aware Applications. Daniel joined FXPAL from Intel, where he held the roles of Senior Researcher and UX Innovation Lead, working on content-creation solutions and mixed-reality systems.

He received his PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Daniel’s list of publications on DBLP

Co-Authors

Publications

2017

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Work breaks can play an important role in the mental and physical well-being of workers and contribute positively to productivity. In this paper we explore the use of activity-, physiological-, and indoor-location sensing to promote mobility during work-breaks. While the popularity of devices and applications to promote physical activity is growing, prior research highlights important constraints when designing for the workplace. With these constraints in mind, we developed BreakSense, a mobile application that uses a Bluetooth beacon infrastructure, a smartphone and a smartwatch to encourage mobility during breaks with a game-like design. We discuss constraints imposed by design for work and the workplace, and highlight challenges associated with the use of noisy sensors and methods to overcome them. We then describe a short deployment of BreakSense within our lab that examined bound vs. unbound augmented breaks and how they affect users’ sense of completion and readiness to work.
2016

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The negative effect of lapses during a behavior-change program has been shown to increase the risk of repeated lapses and, ultimately, program abandonment. In this paper, we examine the potential of system-driven lapse management -- supporting users through lapses as part of a behavior-change tool. We first review lessons from domains such as dieting and addiction research and discuss the design space of lapse management. We then explore the value of one approach to lapse management -- the use of "cheat points" as a way to encourage sustained participation. In an online study, we first examine interpretations of progress that was reached through using cheat points. We then present findings from a deployment of lapse management in a two-week field study with 30 participants. Our results demonstrate the potential of this approach to motivate and change users' behavior. We discuss important open questions for the design of future technology-mediated behavior change programs.

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Taking breaks from work is an essential and universal practice. In this paper, we extend current research on productivity in the workplace to consider the break habits of knowledge workers and explore opportunities of break logging for personal informatics. We report on three studies. Through a survey of 147 U.S.-based knowledge workers, we investigate what activities respondents consider to be breaks from work, and offer an understanding of the benefit workers desire when they take breaks. We then present results from a two-week in-situ diary study with 28 participants in the U.S. who logged 800 breaks, offering insights into the effect of work breaks on productivity. We finally explore the space of information visualization of work breaks and productivity in a third study. We conclude with a discussion of implications for break recommendation systems, availability and interuptibility research, and the quantified workplace.

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The use of videoconferencing in the workplace has been steadily growing. While multitasking during video conferencing is often necessary, it is also viewed as impolite and sometimes unacceptable. One potential contributor to negative attitudes towards such multitasking is the disrupted sense of eye contact that occurs when an individual shifts their gaze away to another screen, for example, in a dual-monitor setup, common in office settings. We present a system to improve a sense of eye contact over videoconferencing in dual-monitor setups. Our system uses computer vision and desktop activity detection to dynamically choose the camera with the best view of a user's face. We describe two alternative implementations of our system (RGB-only, and a combination of RGB and RGB-D cameras). We then describe results from an online experiment that shows the potential of our approach to significantly improve perceptions of a person's politeness and engagement in the meeting.
Publication Details
  • Proceedings of CSCW 2016
  • Feb 27, 2016

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This paper presents a detailed examination of factors that affect perceptions of, and attitudes towards multitasking in dyadic video conferencing. We first report findings from interviews with 15 professional users of videoconferencing. We then report results from a controlled online experiment with 397 participants based in the United States. Our results show that the technology used for multitasking has a significant effect on others' assumptions of what secondary activity the multitasker is likely engaged in, and that this assumed activity in turn affects evaluations of politeness and appropriateness. We also describe how different layouts of the video conferencing UI may lead to better or worse ratings of engagement and in turn ratings of polite or impolite behavior. We then propose a model that captures our results and use the model to discuss implications for behavior and for the design of video communication tools.
2015

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New technology comes about in a number of different ways. It may come from advances in scientific research, through new combinations of existing technology, or by simply from imagining what might be possible in the future. This video describes the evolution of Tabletop Telepresence, a system for remote collaboration through desktop videoconferencing combined with a digital desk. Tabletop Telepresence provides a means to share paper documents between remote desktops, interact with documents and request services (such as translation), and communicate with a remote person through a teleconference. It was made possible by combining advances in camera/projector technology that enable a fully functional digital desk, embodied telepresence in video conferencing and concept art that imagines future workstyles.

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In this paper we report findings from two user studies that explore the problem of establishing common viewpoint in the context of a wearable telepresence system. In our first study, we assessed the ability of a local person (the guide) to identify the view orientation of the remote person by looking at the physical pose of the telepresence device. In the follow-up study, we explored visual feedback methods for communicating the relative viewpoints of the remote user and the guide via a head-mounted display. Our results show that actively observing the pose of the device is useful for viewpoint estimation. However, in the case of telepresence devices without physical directional affordances, a live video feed may yield comparable results. Lastly, more abstract visualizations lead to significantly longer recognition times, but may be necessary in more complex environments.
Publication Details
  • Presented in "Everyday Telepresence" workshop at CHI 2015
  • Apr 18, 2015

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As video-mediated communication reaches broad adoption, improving immersion and social interaction are important areas of focus in the design of tools for exploration and work-based communication. Here we present three threads of research focused on developing new ways of enabling exploration of a remote environment and interacting with the people and artifacts therein.
Publication Details
  • Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
  • Apr 18, 2015

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Edge targets, such as buttons or menus along the edge of a screen, are known to afford fast acquisition performance in desktop mousing environments. As the popularity of touch based devices continues to grow, understanding the affordances of edge targets on touchscreen is needed. This paper describes results from two controlled experiments that examine in detail the effect of edge targets on performance in touch devices. Our results shows that on touch devices, a target's proximity to the edge has a significant negative effect on reaction time. We examine the effect in detail and explore mitigating factors. We discuss potential explanations for the effect and propose implications for the design of efficient interfaces for touch devices.

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In this paper, we report findings from a study that compared basic video-conferencing, emergent kinetic video-conferencing techniques, and face-to-face meetings. In our study, remote and co-located participants worked together in groups of three. We show, in agreement with prior literature, the strong adverse impact of being remote on participation-levels. We also show that local and remote participants perceived differently their own contributions and others. Extending prior work, we also show that local participants exhibited significantly more overlapping speech with remote participants who used an embodied proxy, than with remote participants in basic-video conferencing (and at a rate similar to overlapping speech for co-located groups). We also describe differences in how the technologies were used to follow conversation. We discuss how these findings extend our understanding of the promise and potential limitations of embodied video-conferencing solutions.