Tele-immersion, a new medium for human interaction enabled by digital technologies, approximates the illusion that a user is in the same physical space as other people, even through the other participants might in fact be hundreds or thousands of miles away. It combines the display and interaction techniques of virtual reality with new vision technologies that transcend the traditional limitations of a camera. Rather than merely observing people and their immediate environment from one vantage point, tele- immersion stations convey them as moving sculptures, without favoring a single point of view. The result is that all the participants, however distant, can share and explore a life-size space.
Beyond improving on videoconferencing, tele-immersion was conceived as an ideal application for driving network-engineering research, specifically for Internet2, the primary research consortium for advanced network studies in the U.S. If a computer network can support tele-immersion, it can probably support any other application. This is because tele-immersion demands as little delay as possible from flows of information ( and as little inconsistency in delay ), in addition to the more common demands for very large and reliable flows.
WHAT IS TELE- IMMERSION?
Tele-immersion enables users at geographically distributed sites to collaborate in real time in a shared, simulated, hybrid environment as if they were in the same physical room.
It is the ultimate synthesis of media technologies:
3D environment scanning.
Projective and display technologies.
The considerable requirements for tele-immersion system, such as high bandwidth, low latency and low latency variation make it one of the most challenging net applications. This application is therefore considered to be an ideal driver for the research agendas of the Internet2 community.
Tele-immersion is that sense of shared presence with distant individuals and their environments that feels substantially as if they were in oneâ„¢s own local space. This kind of tele-immersion differs significantly from conventional video teleconferencing in that the useâ„¢s view of the remote environment changes dynamically as he moves his head.
VIDEOCONFERENCING VS TELE-IMMERSION
Human interaction has both verbal and nonverbal elements, and videoconferencing seems precisely configured to confound the nonverbal ones. It is impossible to make eye contact perfectly, for instance, in todayâ„¢s videoconferencing systems, because the camera and the display screen cannot be in the same spot. This usually leads to a deadened and formal affect in interactions, eye contact being a nearly ubiquitous subconscious method of affirming trust. Furthermore, participants arenâ„¢t able to establish a sense of position relative to one another and therefore have no clear way to direct attention, approval or disapproval.
Tele-immersion is an improved version of digital technology. We can make an eye contact, which will give a feeling of trust. This approximates the illusion that a user is in the same physical space as other people, even though they may be far apart. Here rather than merely observing the people and their immediate environment from one vantage point, tele-immersion stations convey them as moving sculptures, without favoring a single point of view. They can share a life cycle space. They are able to convey emotions in its right intensity. A three dimensional view of the room is obtained. It can simulate shared models also.
NEW CONCEPTS AND CHALLENGES
In a tele-immersive environment computers recognize the presence and movements of individuals and both physical and virtual objects, track those individuals and objects, and project them in realistic, multiple, geographically distributed immersive environments on stereo-immersive surfaces. This requires sampling and resynthesis of the physical environment as well as the users faces and bodies, which is a new challenge that will move the range of emerging technologies, such as scene depth extraction and warp rendering, to the next level.
Tele-immersive environments will therefore facilitate not only interaction between users themselves but also between users and computer-generated models and simulations. This will require expanding the boundaries of computer vision, tracking, display, and rendering technologies. As a result, all of this will enable users to achieve a compelling experience and it will lay the groundwork for a higher degree of the their inclusion into the entire system.
In order to fully utilize the tele-immersion, we need to provide interaction that is both as seamless as real world but allows even more effective communication. For example, in the real world someone involved in a meeting might draw a picture on a paper and then show the paper to the other people in the meeting. In tele-immersion spaces people have the opportunity to communicate in fundamentally new ways.
REQUIREMENTS OF TELE-IMMERSION
Tele-immersion is the ultimate synthesis of media technologies. It needs the best out of every media technology. The requirements are given below.
3D environment scanning:
For a better exploring of the environment a stereoscopic view is required. For this, a mechanism for 3D environment scanning method is to be used. It is by using multiple cameras for producing two separate images for each of eyes. By using polarized glasses we can separate each of the views and get a 3D view.
The key is that in tele-immersion, each participant must have a personal view point of remote scenes-in fact, two of them, because each eye must see from its own perspective to preserve a sense of depth. Furthermore, participants should be free to move about, so each personâ„¢s perspective will be in constant motion. Tele-immersion demands that each scene be sensed in a manner that is not biased toward any particular viewpoint (a camera, in contrast, is locked into portraying a scene from its own position). Each place, and the people and things in it, has to be sensed from all directions at once and conveyed as if it were an animated three-dimensional sculpture. Each remote site receives information describing the whole moving sculpture and renders viewpoints as needed locally. The scanning process has to be accomplished fast enough to take place in real time at most within a small fraction of a second.
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