Eye-to-eye contact and facial expressions are key communicators, yet there has been little done to evaluate the basic properties of face-to-face; mutual head orientation behaviors. This may be because there is no practical device available to measure the behavior. This paper presents a novel headband-type wearable device called FaceLooks
, used for measuring the time of the face-to-face state with identity of the partner, using an infrared emitter and receiver. It can also be used for behavioral healthcare applications, such as for children with developmental disorders who exhibit difficulties with the behavior, by providing awareness through the visual feedback from the partner’s device. Two laboratory experiments showed the device’s detection range and response time, tested with a pair of dummy heads. Another laboratory experiment was done with human participants with gaze trackers and showed the device’s substantial agreement with a human observer. We then conducted two field studies involving children with intellectual disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders. The first study showed that the devices could be used in the school setting, observing the children did not remove the devices. The second study showed that the durations of children’s face-to-face behavior could be increased under a visual feedback condition. The device shows its potential to be used in therapy and experimental fields because of its wearability and its ability to quantify and shape face-to-face behavior.
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