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hi y'all.

i've been gone on vacation for 3 weeks in august and am just finally feeling like i'm behind by a "normal" amount. it's been 2003 since i took such a long break, but it's good to be back...

about hangouts...

for signers there are two categories of things that we've been working on.

first and foremost, we've been aggressively improving the video quality and stability. it's still a huge challenge to transmit 10 video feeds to 10 end points, potentially all around the world. we still have lots of improvements we want to make. but i hope you see a substantial improvement in video stability in the past several weeks. this will be a never-ending effort. without improved video quality the next thing doesn't matter.

second, as i hungout in signing hangouts, i also noticed that most people were trying to watch others sign from the thumbnail video. our voice activated video switching for the main video usually just stayed on whomever had the most background noise.

So, we added a "Take the floor" feature. Give this a try and let us know how it works for you. Here's how to use it.

1) have everyone mute their audio.
2) when you want to sign something, hit Shift+s.
3) when you see yourself as the main video, that's your cue. you've got the floor... everyone's main video has switched to you. sign away.

note that this only works when you are muted. and once you've "taken the floor" no one else can take the floor for a few seconds. we did this to arbitrate if multiple people do it at the same time... whomever you see in the main video has the floor. If that's you, go for it. +Naomi Black did this great video below about this feature :)

as always, as you use this, if you have feedback about it, let us know.

‫علي الربيعي‬‎'s profile photoNatalie Buck's profile photoNicoletta Ciucà's profile photoLindsay Raclaw's profile photo
Great youtube video. Google plus is evolving everyday!! BTW, Now in the morning in Japan, Good Morning!! Honestly speaking, today is the memorial day --
1. A half year has passed since the Terrible earthquake in Japan (2011)
2. Memorial day (10th) of the September 11 attack, 2001, USA
So, I would like to spread the message to world wide.Please join this project / hash tag project -- re-share this please:
Thank you! > +Chee Chew & ALL
That's cool, could you get the client to work from behind a proxy, like Skype can. Most student dorm internet is through a proxy and Google hangout just doesn't work :(
What a brilliant idea. You guys are really fantastic at paying attention to the little details and figuring out what the community needs. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work on Google+!
+Mike Dickinson, if you would like to teach sign language on hangouts or know someone who does, let me know.
+Chee Chew Nice feature. I wonder if it's possible to do the "narrow frame" feature too. When enabled, when someone is in the minimized window, only moving part would be tracked with some adjustment. i.e. when someone starts to sign, it zooms into hands (with some up/down space). When amount of movement slows down, zoom back out to full frame

This would also probably allow some cutting down on bandwidth when many streams are overloading the connection.

Ideally it'd be something along the lines of:
-1 people who participate either full frame, or head (movement of the face)
-2 when starting signing focus immediately switches to hands (extensive movement), expands a bit to accomodate vertical gestures
-3 once signing is finished, switches back to face or full frame

When switching from 1 to 2 that'd probably attract immediate attention of the currently signing person as change is sufficient to be caught by peripheral vision
+Chee Chew I'm having trouble on G+ with comments. The text pane used for comments scrolls too quickly with real-time comment updates or as my stream is updated. I'm a very poor typist, and often use speech-to-text. I've noticed that comment windows lose focus policy/confuses my voice-to-text software.

Is there any way to freeze a comment window (retain primary focus) while editing?
Chan Li
good to hear that , and pay more attention on echo issue
This is brilliant..Thanks a lot for being sensitive to the needs of your users. hits close to home coz my sister is deaf and i love her very much...
+Mike Dickinson I also do the cut & paste trick; and I also use dragon speech :) I agree with you on the "seizure inducing screen".
+Mike Dickinson I replied earlier, but for some reason it didn't post. For G+ there needs to be a way to pause, or slow down the stream; basically an option to turn off real-time updates. I'd also like a feature in my profile settings to shunt animated gifs aside -- something to place them in a separate queue. Video (YouTube) isn't auto-start, so it should be the same for animated gifs.
Firefox 6.0.2 on a Mac. IE was discontinued on Macs ca. 2003. I can switch over to Chrome, installing now.
+Chee Chew This would be a nice feature for other times than just signing.
Having one person being able to "take the floor" would help stop people talking over the top of each other while in a hangout.
Imho this is a good added feature keep up the good work chee chew thanks ian
+Max Smolev that tech sounds interesting. I haven't seen any tech do this well enough yet that i think would be reliable and not have too many false positives... would need to know when the person is signing versus a non-signing person hand gesturing or such.

+Yllona Richardson you have a good point. to help your input get heard better, i'd encourage you to send feedback to the "Send Feedback" link for what you suggest. It'll go to the right team. I lead the Hangouts team, not the main stream page.
+Yllona Richardson +Mike Dickinson I'd love to hear more from you about what works and doesn't work with speech input -- we're working on improving keyboard shortcuts in several areas, which should help, but feel free to contact me directly if you have more thoughts. And please do report issues with Report Feedback, which gives us browser/version information that we can use in troubleshooting! (I'm on the accessibility team at Google.)
+Naomi Black Thanks for being so responsive. I'm gathering my thoughts, making notes, and (hopefully) useful test cases.
This feature, good in nature, sounds very clunky and confusing for most.
+K Doering I've seen something like that happen when someone is on a slow or bandwidth-limited connection. Would that make any sense in this case?

+Derek Ross we're still working out the kinks. If you have suggestions for better UX, we would love to hear them too.
my brother is deaf, all of his friends use service ooVoo which gives them upto 6 people video chat.

They don't like Hangout on google+ because one that makes sound gets the middle big screen...
and all others are on too small screen that they cant even see the sign language clearly.

Please give option to maximize screen side for at least 4 screen at the same time.
I like the idea, something new is always welcomed by users.
+K Doering with this new feature, hit Shift+s as you begin to sign. that essentially "clicks you" on behalf of everyone...
+K Doering very interesting feedback. it should only switch back if the previous person either asks for the mic, or is speaking/making noise. if they are muted, it will stay with you. as you use it, if you have ideas how to make it work better, let me know.
+Chee Chew +K Doering It will be a great feature if we have option to have upto 3 big screens at same time, it will help none tech savvy & deaf people to communicate very well.

all of my brother's deaf friends us OoVoo Software to communicate because it allows 6 big screens simultaneously.

Just make this this optional in setting to bring big screen because of sound, or by click, or even better person who is talking is on Big Screen, person who talked before him is on medium screen, rest all are on small screen.
+Chee Chew shortcut keys such as SHIFT + S are for people who use chrome enthusiastically, i have been using gmail for 6-7 years now but i have never used SHortcut keys for my gmail, nor i can remember them for very long... it get very hard for my family members to use it or rememner them...
make a MANUAL VIDEO CHOICE small button beside the window of video, this will help help who can use it directly...
it will be much simpler then than SHIFT+S...
if a person is talking make him on Medium screen, while person we click on appear on Big Screen, rest are on small screen.
I am very glad Google is working to improve their hangouts for signers.  The effort is appreciated :)  A company that cares about all users is refreshing.
Is the "Take the Floor" function still working? I've tried using it and it doesn't seem to work for me :-/
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