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Integration of telepresence in wall-sized visualization systems

Master-level internship at in|situ|

Advisors: Cédric Fleury (http://cedric.fleu.free.fr/) and Michel Beaudouin-Lafon (https://www.lri.fr/~mbl/)

Summary

The goal of this internship is to add well-integrated and suitable telepresence capabilities in wall-sized visualizations systems for remote user collaboration. In such systems, telepresence capabilities should improve the social presence of remote users without distrusting them during interactions. This internship will take place in the context of the DIGISCOPE project.

Description

Several wall-sized visualization systems (high resolution display wall, 3D immersive rooms, etc.) can be connected through the network to enable remote users to collaborate together and to share contents. For example, remote experts can analyze together some scientific data, CAD models, etc. These systems can also be used for art performance or entertainment. To improve the feeling of social presence (feeling of "being together") in such collaborative systems, we aim to add telepresence capabilities in order to provide a visual feedback of the remote users.

However, adding telepresence capabilities in these large visualization systems is not obvious. For example, adding a 2D window with the video of the remote user at one part of a wall-sized display is not enough: if a user is working at the other side of the wall-sized display, he cannot see this window anymore and the visual contact between users is lost. Adding telepresence capabilities in a 3D immersive room is even more difficult: adding a 2D window in the 3D virtual environment is not relevant because it breaks the immersion of the users.

The goal of this internship is to propose some innovative solutions to integrate telepresence capabilities in wall-sized visualization systems. This internship will focus mainly on the acquisition part (how to capture the video of the remote users), but some works could also be done on the restitution part (how to display the remote users in the visualization system) as an extension. In a first step, some solutions could be implemented on the WILD display wall and evaluated by some user’s studies. For example, we want to explore different solutions to capture remote users based on camera array or telepresence robots. To go further, it would be good to work to extend or adapt some of these solutions to make them suitable for 3D virtual environment.

The internship involves:

  • exploring the state-of-the-art telepresence systems,
  • implementing some solutions to capture video of users standing in front of the WILD wall-sized display,
  • running some users’ studies to evaluate these solutions and their impacts on social presence,
  • extending or adapting the interesting solutions to 3D virtual environments.

Required skills

  • Basic background in Human-Computer Interaction.
  • Java and C/C++ programming.
  • Experience with video processing and camera (as webcam or Kinect camera) is a plus.
  • Experience with user tracking devices is a plus.

References

[1] Mingsong Dou, Ying Shi, Jan-Michael Frahm, Henry Fuchs, Bill Mauchly, and Mod Marathe. Room-sized informal telepresence system. IEEE Virtual Reality (VR), pp.15-18, March 2012.

[2] Stephan Beck, André Kunert, Alexander Kulik, and Bernd Froehlich. Immersive Group-to-Group Telepresence. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol.19, no.4, pp.616, 625, April 2013.

[3] Paul Luff, Marina Jirotka, Naomi Yamashita, Hideaki Kuzuoka, Christian Heath, and Grace Eden. Embedded interaction: The accomplishment of actions in everyday and video-mediated environments. ACM Transaction Computer-Human Interaction, vol. 20, issue 1, Article 6, April 2013.