Virtual embodiments of people in groupware systems provide a wealth of information to others in the group. They allow for explicit gestural communication, and they provide implicit awareness information about people's locations and activities. However, the constraints of current networked groupware limit the effectiveness of these kinds of communication. This paper investigates how embodiments can be augmented with traces - visualizations of past movements - to help others perceive and interpret bodily communication more clearly and more accurately. The paper presents a case study of traces applied to telepointers, and gives several examples of how the concept can be used to improve interaction effectiveness in groupware.
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