Immersion and Tele-immersion in the Office of the Future
Date and Time
Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Computer Science Small Auditorium (Room 105)
Distinguished Lecture Series
Henry Fuchs, from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
We envision an Office of the Future in which images are displayed on walls and other surfaces to provide an immersive environment with a sense of common presence among local and distant participants and their shared work objects. Much of the tele-immersion portion of our research has been part of a four-site National Tele-Immersion Initiative (NTII) lead by Jaron Lanier, chief scientist of the principal funder, Advanced Network & Services. In the current, primitive implementation, we at NTII use clusters of seven digital cameras to acquire the changing 3D surface of each remote partner. These live 3D images are merged with (presently, pre-acquired) 3D scans of each remote office and the common work objects and all these are displayed in head-tracked stereo on walls of the local office. UNC's Office of the Future project and tele-collaboration has also been part of the 5-site (USA) NSF Science and Technology Center in Graphics and Scientific Visualization. Related efforts include panoramic acquisition by clusters of cameras, new image-based rendering methods, and wide-area displays ("video walls") built with numerous casually-placed ceiling-mounted projectors that are automatically calibrated by multiple cameras. We hope these efforts will improve today's ubiquitous personal computers so they will no longer be so restricted by their desktop monitors, but will emerge to integrate smoothly with their user's 3D physical work environment.