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 New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>