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Using Wearable Technology to Help with Public Speaking


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Many say that public speaking is the scariest thing to them, and while I cannot say that is the case for me, I know I could be better at it. Knowing how to improve public speaking skills is tricky though, especially if you are up there, in front of a crowd. Researchers at the University of Rochester, however, have developed a system to help in that situation, using the wearable technology Google Glass.

For those who do not know, Google Glass is a wearable piece of technology with an optical head-mounted display. What the Rochester researchers have done with it is added a piece of software they developed named Rhema; the Greek word for 'utterance.' Rhema is able to record a speaker talking, send the information server, and then present results about the speaker's volume and rate to them, in realtime. After much testing, the researchers discovered it was best for the display to tell the speaker what to do in words every 20 seconds, so it would tell the person to be louder or slower. They also tried displaying graphs and colors like a traffic light at different intervals, but found these were not preferred.

The speakers overall stated that they did feel it helped them, and the Mechanical Turk workers used as an audience reported back that their performance appeared to be undiminished by the feedback. The researchers are planning to put it to a more rigorous test in the future though, with members of Toastmasters International. For now though, Rhema is freely available to download.



Source: University of Rochester

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