PHYSNET: Physical Interaction Using the Internet
Ruzena Bajcsy and Gregorij Kurillo1
Tele-immersive environments allow people separated by distance to physically interact and communicate in real time inside a shared 3D virtual environment through the use of large camera networks that enable the capture and reconstruction of 3D images and sound and the subsequent integration of this multimedia data from geographically distributed sites. However, the wide application of tele-immersive environments is limited by the current technological state of the art: setups and display systems are both expensive and cumbersome, and network latencies and bandwidth limitations hamper realistic two-way communication and interaction.
In response to this situation, a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (UIUC) and the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) proposes to develop and deploy a "next generation" tele-immersive environment built for the common user who does not have the luxury of expensive supercomputing facilities and dedicated networks. More particularly, the vision of this project is to create a geographically distributed and cost effective tele-immersive environment that facilitates ordinary people performing physical activities in their homes, schools, doctor's offices, or job training facilities under the supervision of a trainer, therapist, or teacher who is not co-located.