Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New video-conferencing method cheaper, more sophisticated, developers say

21.04.2006


If only Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were around today to take a spin with new technology being developed and tested by a team of computer scientists in Illinois and California.

If they were, they’d be dancing circles around each other – only from a considerable distance. That’s the beauty of Tele-immersive Environments for EVErybody, or TEEVE, a system that’s being test-driven simultaneously across thousands of miles this spring in the labs of Klara Nahrstedt, a computer science professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Ruzena Bajcsy, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Berkeley.

In technical terms, TEEVE is a distributed multi-tier application that captures images using 3-D camera clusters and distributes them over Internet2 (the network reserved for research and corporate clients), compressing and decompressing the 3-D video streams, rendering them into immersive video and displaying them on one or multiple large screens.



In layman’s terms, think of TEEVE as a turbocharged version of videoconferencing, but with some very fancy new bells and whistles. Most notably, Nahrstedt said, TEEVE makes it possible for people to view their counterparts at remote sites from all angles.

And an important feature that sets it apart from other tele-immersive video-conferencing systems currently being developed or used elsewhere is its potential for delivering high-quality images and communications using relatively inexpensive technology and COTS – or commercial-off-the-shelf products and equipment.

"TEEVE is a great technology because it allows for more cost-effective cyberspace communication of people in their full body size," Nahrstedt said.

"This system is especially suited for learning new activities, training and meeting in cyberspace if a physical activity is to be performed," she said.

The researchers also believe the technology is ideally suited for a variety of entertainment-related purposes.

"With TEEVE we want to allow distributed artists such as dancers to train, design new choreography and experiment with different movements in the cyberspace," she said, noting that TEEVE’s relatively low price tag would be of special interest to artists, who typically struggle to produce their work with limited funding.

This spring, Nahrstedt, Bajcsy and their research teams have been testing the technology with the aid of two performers: U. of I. dance student Renata Sheppard and U. of C. dance professor Lisa Wymore. In each experimental pas de deux, Sheppard stretched and spun about before semi-circular clusters of 3-D cameras in Nahrstedts’s lab on the Urbana-Champaign campus, while Wymore executed her moves in Berkeley in a similar environment.

To date, Nahrstedt has been pleased with the results, which she pronounced "exciting and excellent."

"Both dancers met in the cyberspace, danced together and also synchronized when dancing," she said.

Among other potential applications, Nahrstedt expects TEEVE will, in the not-too-distant future, allow for the following scenarios to take place:

  • After accidents, medical patients and physiotherapists meet in cyberspace, where the physiotherapist demonstrates muscle-strengthening exercises.
  • Students are able to learn new sports or movement activities, such as tai chi, even when living in remote locations where no local teacher is available.
  • While communicating with an elderly parent, adult children living far away can more accurately assess a parent’s physical condition.

Nahrstedt predicts that it will be at least five to six years before TEEVE and other tele-immersive 3-D multi-camera collaborative environments are routinely used in university or corporate settings.

"Videoconferencing equipment – 2-D, single view – has been available for the last eight to 10 years, and only maybe in the last three years has it become common to have a conference room equipped with polycom conferencing equipment or access grid or net-meeting on a more regular basis."

In the meantime, Nahrstedt said, she and her colleagues will continue to design new software systems, protocols and hardware capabilities as common new platforms, such as multi-core processors and better cameras, become available.

A number of interesting research issues remain ripe for exploration as well, she said. They include figuring out how to simplify human-computer interfaces to allow people to customize their content and displays in order to more easily process multiple views and large amounts of information, and real-time processing and communication that would bring 3-D tele-immersive content closer to the quality of current television and radio quality.

Another big goal for the researchers is to focus on ways to automate the technology and make it more user-friendly.

Ultimately, she said, "the environments should be set up with a push of a button – this is absolutely impossible at this point."

Research on TEEVE was presented earlier this year at the Multimedia Computing and Networking conference in San Jose, Calif., and featured in the February issue of ProAV magazine. At Illinois, Nahrstedt’s research team consists of graduate students Jigar Doshi, Jin Liang, Wanmin Wu, Zhenyu Yang and Bin Yu. Working with Bajcsy at Berkeley are Ross Diankov and Samuel Morris Johnston.

Melissa Mitchell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht Tile Based DASH Streaming for Virtual Reality with HEVC from Fraunhofer HHI
03.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Heinrich-Hertz-Institut

nachricht Product placement: Only brands placed very prominently benefit from 3D technology
07.07.2016 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Satellite-based Laser Measurement Technology against Climate Change

17.01.2017 | Machine Engineering

Studying fundamental particles in materials

17.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>