A modular hardware concept will be developed for local and remote collaboration (WP1, IWF) which includes a platform module featuring gaze awareness in video conferences, and integrated video and data conferencing. The workspace will be equiped with hardware and software technology to allow simultaneous image acquisition and display similar in the spirit as in the original blue-c portal but with less complexity. Combined with advanced collaborative data handling (WP8, ASL) the goal is to demonstrate gaze awareness in video conferences and to support the collaborative process of co-located and remote teamwork within a “virtual project room”. By incorporating either video-based (WP3, CVG) or sensor-based (WP2, CGL) interaction technologies a person’s movements can be tracked and interpreted to learned gestures and trigger actions linked to them. As an example, a pen-based interaction metaphor allows to easily move displayed objects from one local interactive workspace to another local or remote workspace. Similarly an annotation tool can help to support design review meetings. The interaction toolbox (WP2, CGL) allows to define these metaphors and sensor assignments on-the-fly in a running application and thus further enables intuitive interaction. As another application example, an “advanced SMART Board™” could combine a touch-sensitive, interactive whiteboard with the newly developed collaboration and interaction features. 3D video (WP4, CGL) or view-independent video (WP5, CVG) can be used to further improve gaze awareness and presence on the collaboration platform. Whereas 3D video can also be used to visualize complex and dynamic real-world scenes in 3D (e.g. industrial installations, ordinary rooms), view-independent video is focused on collaboration partners and their local environments. The final goal is to improve efficiency as well as usability of collaborative and interdisciplinary design processes by applying new communication and interaction technologies.

With the increasing interest in video conferencing—now possible with third generation mobile phone technology (3G or UMTS™)—privacy becomes an important issue in video-conferencing or video-observed areas (WP6, CAAD). By combining videostreams with cryptography, a system can be built that allows people within such areas to restrict access to images taken from them. A certain region of a video stream can be obscured and encrypted by using tracking or positional information of people in rooms (WP5, CVG). Only users that have sufficient access priviledges can decrypt and view the obscured regions. This base technology can also be used in collaboration environments (WP1, IWF) to either obscure and encrypt a participant or to control other regions of the video stream, e.g. parts of the desk which should not be viewable for remote participants. In addition, three-dimensional video streams (WP4, CGL) can be obscured and encrypted in a similar manner.

Pervasive gaming (WP7, CAAD) is also an interesting application field where avoidance of surveillance equipment is the goal of a game in a physical, complex world setting. Research goals include sharpening of senses concerning surveillance in video-controlled environments and discussion of privacy, control, and resistance.

Note that not all application scenarios use all possible technologies provided in the blue-c-II project and not all technology modules use the newly built collaboration platform. Some modules will employ existing blue-c-I platforms or custom-built test environments. No integrated prototype of all technology modules and applications will be built at the end of the project since software integration is complex and time-consuming.

Last update:
March 31. 2012 04:21:40
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