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Using 3D device representation and VoIP for remote support

Frédéric Roulland, Ye Deng, Pascal Valobra
This abstract introduces a video demonstrating the features of a system that we designed in support of remote troubleshooting of printers from a call centre. As reported in [1], ethnographic studies and the assessment of the tools provided in support of device troubleshooting revealed a number of difficulties for both troubleshooters and customers. These meant that the troubleshooters in the call centre had to engage in extra articulation work in order to understand the nature of the troubleshooting situation due to the dislocation of the troubleshooting environment. Our technology design therefore attempts to bring together as much as possible, without physical relocation, all the actors and artifacts involved in the troubleshooting activity to bridge the current dislocations. We propose a system directly accessible from the device user interface and combining three main features. 1. A virtual device representation combining 3D, semantic and kinematic information is available to both parties (the remote troubleshooter and the device user) in order to 1) reason collaboratively about the problem and 2) communicate more effectively which parts of the device are being referred or which action should be performed. 2. A direct synchronous communication channel is established between the device and the call center, which supports audio communication via VoIP together with shared access to the virtual device model. 3. A continuous synchronization with the real device status and history, means that the virtual device status can be representative of the status of the actual device, at any time during the troubleshooting session. These three features combined together enable the users to collaboratively analyze the problematic situation, simulate potential fixes on the virtual representation and perform step-by- step guided sequences of operations on the actual device. This system has been designed based on the findings of the ethnographic study of the call center activity and we hope it will improve significantly the troubleshooting interactions from the call centre and impact the session success rate. However some tests of the system will have to be performed as a next step in order to validate our hypothesis.
CSCW 2008, San Diego, CA, USA, Nov 8-12, 2008