“In the future, we can do all of this 3-D video conferencing on the phone,”
Nik Karpinsky quickly tapped out a few computer commands until Zeus, in all his bearded and statuesque glory, appeared in the middle of a holographic glass panel mounted to an office desk.
The white statue stared back at Karpinsky. Then a hand appeared and turned the full-size head to the right and to the left. Yes, it was quite clear, Zeus really was pictured in 3-D.
And there it was from one computer work station on the second floor of Iowa State University’s Howe Hall to another down on the first floor: 3-D teleconferencing that’s live, real-time and streaming at 30 frames per second.
“Four years ago, this would not have been possible,” said Karpinsky, an Iowa State doctoral student in human computer interaction who’s been working day and night to make the technology a reality.
Part of the problem is the complexity of the technology, said Song Zhang, Iowa State’s William and Virginia Binger Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and the leader of the 3-D imaging project.
“There are a lot of skills involved,” he said. “You have to do programming, optical engineering, hardware, software and networking.”
To make it all work, Karpinsky and Zhang had to solve three big technical problems: capturing the 3-D images, transmitting the images and displaying the images.
“I was originally worried about transmission,” Karpinsky said. “But we had to focus on all three.”
The result of successfully combining those technologies is a proof-of-concept prototype that Karpinsky and Zhang call “Portal-s.”
It all starts with a projector that shines a light straight at a teleconferencer, in this case, that bust of Zeus. There’s a camera to the right of the projector and one to the left, both angled toward the subject. The cameras record two images of the light as it’s distorted by the subject. The images are combined to create a single 3-D image.
That optical hardware is networked and connected to a standard computer with a graphics card. The computer combines, processes and compresses the images. (And it really compresses them – from 700 megabits per second to less than 14 megabits per second.)
The compression allows transmission of 3-D images to another computer, even over wireless networks.
The idea, Karpinsky said, is for the projectors to become the eyes of the teleconferencing system: “What the projector sees is what you see.”
Zhang said the next steps include developing and testing applications for smart phones. He thinks the technology is only a few years away.
“In the future, we can do all of this 3-D video conferencing on the phone,” he said. “These phones are powerful enough to do all the computation.”
Zhang also wants to develop the 3-D teleconferencing technology for use in powerful virtual reality environments such as Iowa State’s C6, a six-sided room that surrounds users with 100 million pixels of 3-D images.
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Elementary teachers union ‘fundamentally’ opposes mandatory live video conferencingon May 13, 2020 at 3:41 pm
Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said he expects educators to embrace real-time learning during COVID-19 shutdown ...
- Embracing Legal Technology Is Critical in the COVID-19 Eraon May 13, 2020 at 9:51 am
It is arguably a transformative time for the profession. And legal technology can and should play a critical role in this transformation.
- Everyone's video conferencing at home—Elon Musk says you may be doing it in Teslas tooon May 12, 2020 at 12:34 pm
Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted on Twitter that Tesla will one day offer a video-conferencing feature in its cars. An expert weighs in with why the feature could be popular, even before fully ...
- How the coronavirus crisis will change technology and how we use it, according to top executives at Zoom, Airbnb, and 34 other companieson May 12, 2020 at 7:56 am
Tech executives share their predictions for how COVID-19 will change how their businesses work and sell.
- HTC Vive Sync: A Real Solution For VR Teleconferencing And Telepresenceon May 11, 2020 at 3:30 pm
HTC Vive Sync seeks to provide a secure and private place to work. In the year since I demoed the early version, HTC added global teleconferencing support, cloud service integration (including ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
3-D video conferencing
- A Colorado restaurant was forced to close after video showed it was packed on Mother's Dayon May 12, 2020 at 10:11 am
A restaurant in Colorado was forced to shut down Monday after reopening on Mother's Day with no social distancing protocols in place.
- Barley, a problem: China threatens Australia with tariffson May 11, 2020 at 5:08 pm
China has given Australia an ultimatum, threatening tariffs up to 80 per cent on grain if the federal government does not respond to allegations of "barley dumping" in 10 days, in an escalation of ...
- Kaon Interactive Announces Video Conferencing Connection (with WebEx, ON24, Zoom, Skype and more) to Elevate Virtual Sales and Marketing Engagementon May 11, 2020 at 8:18 am
This one-click connection provides a seamless way for Kaon's interactive applications to be immediately launched at the start of any video conference, giving sales and marketing teams at global ...
- Today’s cache | 3D and AR Search on Google, Facebook’s new desktop page, and moreon May 11, 2020 at 5:28 am
Now, you can do a 3D or augmented reality search on Google for about 11 human body systems and several other cellular structures. The feature allows you to move the image, and also view it up close.
- Growth NZ Tech: Move Over Zoom, realityvirtual.co To Deliver Immersive Video Conferencingon May 10, 2020 at 12:59 pm
New Zealand startup realityvirtual.co has just been awarded funding from American video game producer and software giant Epic Games, creators of the popular video game, Fortnite. The grant is one of ...