Feeds

Making your presence felt in a video

Total pixelated

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

As more and more people become familiar with video conferencing as a way of avoiding travelling to meetings, we are also becoming increasingly aware of its shortcomings, writes Martin Langham of Bloor Research.

Unless the connection is of a very high quality, we get a pixelated and jittery picture of the other participants who seem to be as mentally remote as they are physically. Video conferencing problems are worse when you are the only person not physically present in the meeting. However vibrant and dominating your personality you often feel you are just a spectator.

A couple of companies have come up with ways of improving the "presence" of people joining a meeting remotely with solutions that seem to have more in common with Star Trek than with conventional video conferencing.

The first of these, Teleportec, lets people appear in a remote location live and life-sized within an apparent 3D environment. Duffie White invented this unique technology and founded Teleportec in Manchester in 1999.

When using Teleportec, the presenter can appear seated or standing. The remote background is removed with a reverse chroma key so the presenter appears to be in the room. This adds to the feeling of actual presence and reduces the processing load on the codec enabling a quicker refresh rate with less flicker.

The presenter sees a large video display of the audience with the same aspect ratio and the same line of sight as if they were in the same room. The presenter can communicate directly with an audience member by making eye contact and gesturing in their direction. The Teleportec Conference System is not confined to just one presenter. It can support larger workspaces and project three to five people around a conference table.

Hewlett-Packard's approach to solving the "presence" problem is a little more direct. They have created a Mutually Immersive Mobile Telepresence system called eTravel, a surrrogate that does the travelling for you. eTravel is a mobile cart that can go anywhere a wheelchair can. It has microphones and cameras to give its operator a 360-degree view of the environment. Four flat-panel displays on the cart facing the points of the compass give a 360-degree view of the operator's head.

The operator guides the cart with a joystick using the view from its cameras. The 360-degree view and the surround sound from the microphones enable the operator to feel as if they were really there and there is no ignoring the cart when it sits down at a meeting. Like Teleportec, eTravel not only allows eye contact but also preserves gaze. The audience can tell when the operator is looking at his notes or looking at the clock so eTravel offers an approximation of a total immersion environment. Hewlett-Packard has paid close attention to preserving video colours and making sure that the image is life-sized to increase the sense of reality.

Perhaps it will be some time before we stumble over our managing director walking the corridors remotely or have them beam down, but these two products show how video conferencing may develop to capture and transmit faithfully all those aspects of our personality that we need in order to participate fully in a remote meeting.

© IT-Analysis.com

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Netscape plugins about to stop working in Chrome for Mac
Google kills off 32-bit Chrome, only on Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.