Sony Patent | Display Control Device And Display Control Method

Patent: Display Control Device And Display Control Method

Publication Number: 20200196017

Publication Date: 20200618

Applicants: Sony

Abstract

There is provided a display control device including a user information acquisition unit configured to acquire information on presence of one or more users who are using same content as output content, a user position decision unit configured to decide display positions of the presence of the users with the information on the presence of the users acquired by the user information acquisition unit, and a display control unit configured to exert control to display the information on the presence of the users on the basis of the display positions decided by the user position decision unit in a manner that the users appear to be using the content together.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present application is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 16/507,427, filed Jul. 10, 2019, which is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/890,211, filed Nov. 10, 2015, which is a national stage entry of PCT/JP2014/062953, filed May 15, 2014, and claims the benefit of priority from Japanese Patent Application No. JP 2013-114008, filed May 30, 2013 which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates to a display control device, a display control method, and a computer program.

BACKGROUND ART

[0003] There is a technique that displays comments posted by users who are reproducing the same content (content refers to images, videos, or a combination of images or videos with sounds) in different places on a display screen of the content to allow for communication between the users. This kind of technique does not allow users to know, on the screen, the presence of users who have not posted any comments, failing to show the scale of the whole audience to users who are trying listening to the content.

[0004] For example, Patent Literatures 1 and 2 then disclose techniques of displaying, as the presence of users who are concurrently watching and listening to content, characters called avatars serving as the users themselves and face images to show the scale of the whole audience to the users who are trying listening to the content.

CITATION LIST

Patent Literature

[0005] Patent Literature 1: JP 2009-211528A

[0006] Patent Literature 2: JP 2008-257709A

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

Technical Problem

[0007] Although each of the techniques can show the scale of the whole audience to users who are trying listening to content, the users feel it troublesome in the first place to enter comments to communicate with each other. Text concurrently displayed with content makes the displayed content smaller in size, while text superimposed on content makes the content difficult to watch. When a user would like to watch and listen to content concurrently with a friend while communicating with the friend closely, the user does not know whether or not the other user is looking at the screen, or whether or not the other user can reply soon. Accordingly, the user fails to smoothly communicate with the other user.

[0008] The present disclosure then provides a novel and improved display control device, display control method, and computer program that can allow users who are concurrently watching and listening to content to know the scale of the users with ease and allow the users to smoothly communicate with the other users with ease.

Solution to Problem

[0009] According to the present disclosure, there is provided a display control device including: a user information acquisition unit configured to acquire information on presence of one or more users who are using same content as output content; a user position decision unit configured to decide display positions of the presence of the users with the information on the presence of the users acquired by the user information acquisition unit; and a display control unit configured to exert control to display the information on the presence of the users on the basis of the display positions decided by the user position decision unit in a manner that the users appear to be using the content together.

[0010] In addition, according to the present disclosure, there is provided a display control method including: acquiring information on presence of one or more users who are using same content as output content; deciding display positions of the presence of the users with the acquired information on the presence of the users; and exerting control on the basis of decided display positions to display the information on the presence of the users in a manner that the users appear to be using the content together.

[0011] Furthermore, according to the present disclosure, there is provided a computer program for causing a computer to execute: acquiring information on presence of one or more users who are using same content as output content; deciding display positions of the presence of the users with the acquired information on the presence of the users; and exerting control on the basis of decided display positions to display the information on the presence of the users in a manner that the users appear to be using the content together.

Advantageous Effects of Invention

[0012] According to the present disclosure as described above, it is possible to provide a novel and improved display control device, display control method, and computer program that can allow users who are concurrently watching and listening to content to know the scale of the users with ease and allow the users to smoothly communicate with the other users with ease.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is an explanatory diagram illustrating a configuration example of a content distribution system 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0014] FIG. 2 is an explanatory diagram illustrating a configuration example of a display system 100 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0015] FIG. 3 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example in which a content display device 300 and a user information output device 400 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure display content and user information.

[0016] FIG. 4A is an explanatory diagram illustrating a functional configuration example of a user information management server 11 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0017] FIG. 4B is an explanatory diagram illustrating a functional configuration example of a display control device 200 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0018] FIG. 5 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an operation example of the content distribution system 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0019] FIG. 6 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example of video distribution setting set in the user information management server 11.

[0020] FIG. 7 is an explanatory diagram illustrating that the user information management server 11 distributes a video shot by a display system 100a.

[0021] FIG. 8 is an explanatory diagram illustrating that the user information management server 11 distributes a video shot by a display system 100b.

[0022] FIG. 9 is an explanatory diagram illustrating that the user information management server 11 distributes a video shot by a display system 100c.

[0023] FIG. 10 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example in which the content display device 300 and the user information output device 400 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure display content and user information.

[0024] FIG. 11 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example in which the content display device 300 and the user information output device 400 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure display content and user information.

[0025] FIG. 12 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example in which content is watched and listened to with a head mounted display.

[0026] FIG. 13 is an explanatory diagram illustrating a display example of a head mounted display 500.

[0027] FIG. 14 is an explanatory diagram illustrating a display example of the head mounted display 500.

[0028] FIG. 15 is an explanatory diagram illustrating a hardware configuration example of the display control device 200.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT(S)

[0029] Hereinafter, (a) preferred embodiment(s) of the present disclosure will be described in detail with reference to the appended drawings. In this specification and the drawings, elements that have substantially the same function and structure are denoted with the same reference signs, and repeated explanation is omitted.

[0030] The description will be now made in the following order. [0031] <1. Embodiment of the Present Disclosure> [0032] [Configuration Example of Content Distribution System] [0033] [Configuration Example of Display System] [0034] [Functional Configuration Example of User Information Management Server] [0035] [Functional Configuration Example of Display Control Device] [0036] [Operation Example of Content Distribution System] [0037] <2. Hardware Configuration Example> [0038] <3. Conclusion>

1.* Embodiment of the Present Disclosure*

Configuration Example of Content Distribution System

[0039] First of all, a configuration example of a system according to an embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 is an explanatory diagram illustrating a configuration example of a content distribution system 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. A configuration example of the content distribution system 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure will be described below with reference to FIG. 1.

[0040] As illustrated in FIG. 1, the content distribution system 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure includes a content server 10, a user information management server 11, and display systems 100a, 100b and 100c. The content server 10, the user information management server 11, and the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c are connected to the Internet and another network 2.

[0041] The content distribution system 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure distributes the same content (such as images, videos, and a combination of images or videos with sounds) distributed by the content server 10 to the display systems 100a, 100b, and 100c. In addition, the user information management server 11 receives the states of the respective users who are using content, the states being transmitted from the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c, and outputs the received states to the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c in the content distribution system 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. The state of each user may include, for example, the appearance of each user, a silhouette or an avatar generated from the appearance of each user, and the voice of each user. The use of content refers to each user’s watching content to be distributed. The use of content also means that each user waits for content to start even if the content has not yet been distributed in practice. The use of content includes a situation in which users exchange their opinions on content even after the distribution of the content ends. When there is no need to distinguish the display systems 100a, 100b, and 100c from each other, they will be simply represented as the display system 100 in the following description.

[0042] The content server 10 retains content to be distributed to the display system 100a, 100b and 100c, and outputs the retained content to the network 2. For example, the content server 10 may begin to output the retained content at the predefined time. The display system 100 can access the content output by the content server 10 at that time, thereby reproducing the content output by the content server 10. It will be described in the present embodiment that content is distributed from the content server 10 to the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c via the network 2, but the present disclosure is not limited to such an example. For example, content may also be distributed to the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c via broadcast waves.

[0043] The content server 10 may retain and distribute various genres of content to the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c. Examples of genres of content retained and distributed to the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c by the content server 10 may include sports, movies, concerts, quizzes, dramas, variety shows, games, still images and moving images shot by users themselves, and other private content.

[0044] The user information management server 11 is a device that manages information on users of the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c who uses the content distribution system 1. The user information management server 11 outputs information sent from each of the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c to the display systems 100a, 100b and 100c on the basis of retained user information.

[0045] The display system 100 acquires content output by the content server 10 from the network 2 and displays the acquired content, or acquires information transmitted from the user information management server 11 and displays the acquired information. Although a configuration example of the display system 100 will be described below in detail, the display system 100, in simple terms, includes a content display device that displays content output by the content server 10 and a user information output device that outputs information transmitted from the user information management server 11.

[0046] A configuration example of the content distribution system 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure has been described so far with reference to FIG. 1. Next, a configuration example of the display system 100 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure will be described.

Configuration Example of Display System

[0047] FIG. 2 is an explanatory diagram illustrating a configuration example of a display system 100 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. A configuration example of the display system 100 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure will be described below with reference to FIG. 2.

[0048] As illustrated in FIG. 2, the display system 100 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure includes a display control device 200, a content display device 300, and a user information output device 400.

[0049] The display control device 200 controls the content display device 300 displaying content and the user information output device 400 displaying user information. The display control device 200 acquires content output by the content server 10 from the network 2, and outputs the acquired content to the content display device 300. In addition, the display control device 200 acquires user information output by the user information management server 11 from the network 2, and outputs the acquired user information to the user information output device 400.

[0050] The content display device 300 displays content output by the content server 10, and includes a liquid crystal display device, an organic EL display device, or another display device. The content display device 300 acquires content output by the content server 10 from the display control device 200, and displays the acquired content on the basis of control exerted by the display control device 200.

[0051] The user information output device 400 acquires and outputs information transmitted from the user information management server 11, and includes a device such as a projector that irradiates, for example, a wall with a video. The user information output device 400 acquires information transmitted from the user information management server 11 from the display control device 200, and outputs the acquired information on the basis of control exerted by the display control device 200.

[0052] Examples of information output by the user information output device 400 may include the appearance of another user, a silhouette, a face picture, an avatar and other video information, voice and other audio information, and a comment entered by another user and other text information. The user information output device 400 outputs such a kind of information on the basis of control exerted by the display control device 200.

[0053] The user information output device 400 may also include a camera for shooting a video of the appearance of a user who is trying listening to content displayed by the content display device 300, and a microphone for collecting the voice of the user. In addition, the user information output device 400 may also include a speaker for outputting content displayed by the content display device 300 and a sound uttered by another user. Additionally, these camera, microphone, and speaker may be provided independently from the content display device 300 and the user information output device 400. Let us assume below that the user information output device 400 includes a camera for shooting a video of the appearance of a user, a speaker for outputting content displayed by the content display device 300 and a sound uttered by another user, and a microphone for collecting the voice of the user.

[0054] The user information output device 400 may also include an infrared sensor device, an ultrasonic sensor device, or another distance measuring sensor for acquiring distance information on the distance to a user trying listening to content displayed by the content display device 300. Once the user information output device 400 acquires distance information on the distance to a user, the user information output device 400 may transmit the distance information to the user information management server 11 via the network 2.

[0055] The display system 100 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure may also include a global positioning system (GPS) sensor or another position sensor for acquiring the present position. The position sensor only has to be provided in any of the display control device 200, the content display device 300 and the user information output device 400, and the display system 100 may transmit information on the present position acquired by the position sensor to the user information management server 11 via the network 2.

[0056] FIG. 3 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an installation example of the user information output device 400. The user information output device 400 may also be provided on the ceiling of a room or at a position at which the user information output device 400 faces a user as illustrated in FIG. 3 in order to irradiate a wall with a video or shoot a video of the appearance of the user. A camera provided on the user information output device 400 may be provided at a position that allows the camera to shoot at least a video of the upper body of a user while the user is using (watching) content displayed by the content display device 300. As long as a video of the upper body of a user can be shot, it is possible, for example, with the skeleton estimation technology to estimate the posture of the user. Accordingly, for example, the user information management server 11 can acquire information on the posture of the user by using that skeleton estimation technology. Furthermore, for example, the user information management server 11 can convert even a shot video showing the front of the user as illustrated in FIG. 3 to a video showing a side of the user.

[0057] The display control device 200 can show the scale of users who are concurrently using (watching) content to a user of the display system 100 with ease by controlling the content display device 300 displaying content and the user information output device 400 outputting information. In addition, the display control device 200 exerts such control, thereby allowing a user of the display system 100 to smoothly communicate with another user with ease.

[0058] The following describes an example in which the content display device 300 and the user information output device 400 display content and user information. FIG. 3 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example in which a content display device 300 and a user information output device 400 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure display content and user information.

[0059] As illustrated in FIG. 3, a user U1 sits in a room watching and listening to content displayed by the content display device 300. The user information output device 400 projects appearances D1 and D2 of other users onto walls of the room where the user 1 is as illustrated in FIG. 3. If the user information output device 400 projects the appearances D1 and D2 of the other users in this way, the display system 100 can present information on the other users to the user U1 without preventing the user U1 from watching and listening to content displayed by the content display device 300.

[0060] The appearances D1 and D2 of the other users projected by the user information output device 400 may include videos of the actual appearances of the other users shot by the display systems 100 used by the other users, or silhouettes made from the appearances. In addition, the user information output device 400 may project, as the appearances D1 and D2 of the other users, images of characters called avatars converted from videos of the appearances of the other users shot by the display systems 100 used by the other users. The display manner and display positions of the appearances D1 and D2 of the other users projected by the user information output device 400 for the respective users change in accordance with control exerted by the display control device 200. Some parts of the appearances of the other users are displayed as shot videos, and the other parts are displayed as silhouettes in accordance with control exerted by the display control device 200 in the example illustrated in FIG. 3.

[0061] The appearances of the other users may be converted to silhouettes, or avatar information on the other users may be acquired by the user information management server 11. The user information management server 11 may also convert a video of a user transmitted from the display system 100 to a silhouette, or acquire an avatar of a user on the basis of the retained user information.

[0062] The user information output device 400 may output sounds uttered by the other users in addition to the appearances D1 and D2 of the other users. The user information output device 400 may also output text generated from the sounds uttered by the other users. The user information output device 400 outputs text “GREAT SAVE!!” and “ALMOST!” generated from sounds uttered by the other users in balloons in the example illustrated in FIG. 3.

[0063] The display control device 200 may change the projection positions of the appearances D1 and D2 of the other users and the display positions of the respective users in accordance with information managed by the user information management server 11 and the details of content output by the content display device 300. A specific example of display control exerted by the display control device 200 on the appearances D1 and D2 of the other users will be described below in detail.

[0064] The user information output device 400 may display the appearances of the other users as illustrated in FIG. 3 before the content display device 300 displays content. The user information output device 400 can show that users have been excited even before the content display device 300 displays content, by displaying the appearances of the other users before the content display device 300 displays the content.

[0065] The user information output device 400 may continue to display the appearances of the other users as illustrated in FIG. 3 even after the content display device 300 finishes displaying content. The user information output device 400 can show that users have been excited even after the content display device 300 finishes displaying content, by continuing to display the appearances of the other users after the content display device 300 finishes displaying the content.

[0066] If a user of the display system 100 enjoys game content with another user, the display control device 200 illustrated in FIG. 2 may be configured to output the game content to the content display device 300. If a user of the display system 100 enjoys game content with another user, the display system 100 may include a controller for operating the game, which is not, however, illustrated in FIG. 2.

[0067] A configuration example of the display system 100 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure has been described so far with reference to FIG. 2. Next, a functional configuration example of the user information management server 11 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure will be described.

Functional Configuration Example of User Information Management Server

[0068] FIG. 4A is an explanatory diagram illustrating a functional configuration example of the user information management server 11 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. Next, a functional configuration example of the user information management server 11 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to FIG. 4A.

[0069] As illustrated in FIG. 4A, the user information management server 11 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure includes a video acquisition unit 21, a video processing unit 22, an information distribution unit 23, and a setting retention unit 24.

[0070] The video acquisition unit 21 acquires a video shot by the user information output device 400 included in the display system 100. The video shot by the display system 100 may include the appearance of a user who uses the display system 100. The video acquired by the video acquisition unit 21 is subjected to video processing by the video processing unit 22.

[0071] The video processing unit 22 executes video processing on the video acquired by the video acquisition unit 21. The video processing executed by the video processing unit 22 may include, for example, deleting the background from a video, extracting a person from a video, converting the extracted person to a silhouette, and reflecting the movement of the extracted person on an avatar. The video processing unit 22 executes video processing on the video acquired by the video acquisition unit 21 on the basis of the content of the setting retained by the setting retention unit 24. Additionally, the video processing unit 22 may also execute processing on a sound that may be included in the video in addition to the processing on the video. For example, the video processing unit 22 may also execute processing of converting a sound included in the video into text data on the basis of the content of the setting retained by the setting retention unit 24 discussed below.

[0072] The information distribution unit 23 distributes the video transmitted form the display system 100 and subjected to video processing by the video processing unit 22 to another display system 100. The information distribution unit 23 distributes the video transmitted from the display system 100 to another display system 100 on the basis of the content of the setting retained by the setting retention unit 24.

[0073] The setting retention unit 24 retains, for example, the content of the video processing on the video shot by the display system 100, the content of the setting for a destination to which the video is distributed, and the setting for information on each user who is using the display system 100. As discussed above, the video processing unit 22 and the information distribution unit 23 operates on the basis of the content of the setting retained by the setting retention unit 24. Additionally, although the setting retention unit 24 is provided in the user information management server 11 in the example illustrated in FIG. 4A, the present disclosure is not limited to such an example.

[0074] A functional configuration example of the user information management server 11 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure has been described so far with reference to FIG. 4A. Next, a functional configuration example of the display control device 200 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure will be described.

Functional Configuration Example of Display Control Device

[0075] FIG. 4B is an explanatory diagram illustrating a functional configuration example of the display control device 200 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. The following describes a functional configuration example of the display control device 200 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure with reference to FIG. 4B.

[0076] As illustrated in FIG. 4B, the display control device 200 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure includes a content acquisition unit 210, a user information acquisition unit 220, a user position decision unit 230, and a display control unit 240.

[0077] The content acquisition unit 210 acquires content output by the content server 10. The content acquired by the content acquisition unit 210 is sent to the content display device 300 by the display control unit 240, and the display control unit 240 controls the content display device 300 displaying the acquired content.

[0078] The user information acquisition unit 220 acquires information transmitted from the user information management server 11. The information acquired by the user information acquisition unit 220 is sent to the user information output device 400 by the display control unit 240. The display control unit 240 then controls the user information output device 400 outputting the information acquired by the user information acquisition unit 220.

[0079] The user position decision unit 230 decides the position of the appearance of a user output from the user information output device 400 when the information acquired by the user information acquisition unit 220 is output from the user information output device 400. The user position decision unit 230 may use a variety of indexes for deciding the position of the appearance of a user output from the user information output device 400. For example, the user position decision unit 230 may decide the position on the basis of information on a user of the display control device 200 and another user managed by the user information management server 11. Meanwhile, for example, the user position decision unit 230 may decide the position in accordance with the details of content output by the content server 10. For example, if the content server 10 outputs baseball content, the user position decision unit 230 may decide the display positions of the appearances of users in a manner that a user who is rooting for the same team as a team that a user of the display control device 200 is rooting for is displayed on the same wall and a user who is rooting for the opponent team is displayed on the opposite wall. Meanwhile, for example, if the content server 10 outputs content of an online game that falls into a role playing game, the user position decision unit 230 may decide the display positions of the appearances of users in a manner that users who are using characters having the same job are centralized on one of the walls.

[0080] Specific examples of indexes used by the user position decision unit 230 will be described. If a user who is using the display system 100 sets the appearance of a user registered in advance in the user information management server 11 in a manner that the registered appearance is displayed near the user who is using the display system 100, the user position decision unit 230 may make a decision in a manner that the display position of the registered appearance of the user is located near the user who is using the display system 100 on the basis of the setting. The position of a user in a room may be acquired, for example, from a resulting video of the user shot by the user information output device 400 or acquired by a sensor or the like that measures the distance to an object. The user position decision unit 230 may decide the position of another user on the basis of information on the position of the user acquired in this way.

[0081] If the user position decision unit 230 can use information on user communication services such as social networking services (SNSs), social media, and social networking sites, the user position decision unit 230 may make a decision in a manner that the display position of the appearance of a user who has deep intimacy as estimated from a social graph of the SNS is located near a user who is using the display system 100.

[0082] Meanwhile, if the content server 10 outputs content of sports broadcast, the user position decision unit 230 may make a decision in a manner that the display position of the appearance of a user who is rooting for the same team as a team that a user who is using the display system 100 is rooting for is located near the user who is using the display system 100.

[0083] If the content server 10 outputs content of sports broadcast, the user position decision unit 230 may display the appearances of users in a manner that the display position of the appearance of a user who is rooting for the same team as a team that a user who is using the display system 100 is rooting for is located on the right side as viewed from the user who is using the display system 100 and the display position of the appearance of a user who is rooting for the opponent team is located on the left side as viewed from the user who is using the display system 100.

[0084] If the content server 10 outputs content of a quiz program, the user position decision unit 230 may display the appearances of users in a manner that the display position of the appearance of a user who gets the same answer as an answer of a user who is using the display system 100 is located on the right side as viewed from the user who is using the display system 100 and the display position of the appearance of a user who gets a different answer is located on the left side as viewed from the user who is using the display system 100.

[0085] The user position decision unit 230 may change the display position of the appearance of another user in accordance with the posture of the user. For example, when there are a user sitting on the floor, a user sitting on a chair, and a standing user, the user position decision unit 230 may display the appearance of the user sitting on the floor at the front, the appearance of the user sitting on a chair in the middle, and the appearance of the standing user at the back.

[0086] The user position decision unit 230 may change the display position of the appearance of another user in accordance with the height of the user. The user information management server 11 estimates the height of a user who is using the display system 100 from the appearance of the user, whose video has been shot by the user information output device 400. The user information management server 11 may then put together information on the heights of users who are watching and listening to the same content and provide the information to the respective display systems 100. For example, the user position decision unit 230 may display the appearances of the users in order of increasing height.

[0087] The user position decision unit 230 may change the display position of the appearance of another user in accordance with the actual distance to the other user. As discussed above, the display system 100 may include a position sensor that acquires the present position. The display system 100 includes a position sensor, so that position information on a user of the display system 100 and position information on another user are gathered in the user information management server 11. Thus, if the display control device 200 acquires position information on other users from the user information management server 11, it is possible to change the display positions of the appearances of the users in accordance with the actual distances to the other users. For example, the user position decision unit 230 may display the appearances of other users in order of increasing actual distance to the users.

[0088] In addition, the user position decision unit 230 may also change the display position of the appearance of another user in accordance with the distance between the content display device 300 of the display system 100 used by the user and the user. The user information output device 400 may also include an infrared sensor device, an ultrasonic sensor device, or another distance measuring sensor for acquiring distance information on the distance to a user trying listening to content displayed by the content display device 300. Thus, the user information output device 400 includes a distance measuring sensor device, so that information on the distances between the content display devices 300 and users is gathered in the user information management server 11. For example, the user position decision unit 230 may display the appearances of other users in order of increasing distance between the content display devices 300 of the display systems 100 used by the users and the users.

[0089] The display control unit 240 controls the content display device 300 displaying content acquired by the content acquisition unit 210. In addition, the display control unit 240 controls the user information output device 400 outputting information acquired by the user information acquisition unit 220. The display control unit 240 exerts control in a manner that the user information output device 400 outputs information on the position of each user decided by the user position decision unit 230 as the information acquired by the user information acquisition unit 220.

[0090] When displaying the information acquired by the user information acquisition unit 220, the display control unit 240 may change what is to be displayed in accordance with the state of another user. For example, the display control unit 240 may stop the user information output device 400 from outputting the appearance of another user or cause the user information output device 400 to output only the outline of the user in the absence of the user. Additionally, the absence of another user may be determined, for example, from the user stepping out from the video shooting range of the user information output device 400, or the other user telling that the user is going to be unavailable through a microphone provided on the user information output device 400.

[0091] If another user who has been sat for a long time stands up, the display control unit 240 may determine that the user leaves his or her seat and stop the user information output device 400 from outputting the appearance of the user or cause the user information output device 400 to output only the outline of the user.

[0092] In addition, the display control unit 240 may change what is displayed for another user in accordance with a sign shown by the user. For example, the display control unit 240 may stop the user information output device 400 from outputting the appearance of another user or cause the user information output device 400 to output only the outline of the user when the user explicitly shows a sign indicating that the user leaves a seat.

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