Tele Immersion (TI) refers to an emerging Future Internet (FI) technology that can support realistic interpersonal communications allowing remote users to share activities and interact within shared simulated environments. With this technology the restrictions imposed by geographical location are lifted at that fine line separating the real world from the virtual, offering an all-around immersive experience, where the actual 3D appearance of all peers will be embedded.
Imagine a party of friends emplaced into the virtual environment simulating the Athenian Acropolis, taking an exciting tour along with their guide into this cultural re-enactment, or a tele-learning environment where an expert is tele-immersed in a simulated factory environment to teach a party of workers how to operate some newly acquired machine types.
Given the freedom offered by virtual environments, the interaction possibilities are endless.
Tele immersion will alter the way people communicate and interact, lift the barrier of physical presence and create new pathways in industries such as education, healthcare, entertainment, broadcasting and many others.
VCL’s vision around TI-related technologies started since 2011 and this experience has been cultivated into an original expertise, with rich scientific knowledge and technological know-how. This is evident by the first tele-immersion based ski competition between an indoor user in Thessaloniki, Greece and an outdoor in Schladming, Austria. Following below is VCL’s most recent TI incarnation, targeting a mixed reality game experience:
SpaceWars is a Tele-Immersive game where two players are placed into the same virtual arena on top of futuristic hovercrafts, where they engage each other in a Capture-the-Flag type of game. SpaceWars utilizes the latest version of the TI platform developed at VCL and was developed in order to stress-test the technology with respect to the real-time interactions between remote users within the challenging responsiveness setting of multiplayer game.
The current version of VCL’s TI platform consists only of 4 Microsoft Kinect sensors surrounding the user. The platform is portable and can be easily deployed and operated as a local TI capturing station as it is also low-cost in terms of equipment by using consumer grade vision sensors. Additionally, it utilizes an easy-to-use calibration scheme, using a custom built structure requiring commercially available materials.