Taking communications to the next level
Since late 2016 we have been investigating new ways of immersive communication. Today, after great hard work, we are happy to present you a prototype of our new communication system capable of sending 3D video in real time over the Internet that also allows its visualization in an immersive way through Virtual Reality. Our system virtually transports the receiver to the physical space of the transmitter, being able to see the same scenario and having free movement.
The system is composed of two modules:
This module captures 3D video. It may require one or more rgb-depth cameras depending on the space to be covered. The rgb-depth cameras are special cameras that capture conventional rgb video and also provide depth information, so each rgb pixel in the image has a specific distance value attached. There are several rgb-depth cameras technologies. Our system can potentially work with any of them, prior to a system calibration where the relative spatial position among all cameras is calculated. Once the cameras are calibrated, the system sends 3D,coloured video over the Internet. This video consists of an entire volumetric scene mapped in 3D. Depending on the communication needs, the user can choose wether to send only their silhouette or the entire environment.
This module receives 3D video over the Internet and represents it as a navigable virtual scene. Therefore, the receiver can freely move in this 3D scene by means of the use of a virtual reality headset and a positioning system (or a remote control panel). With this, the receiver user can move anywhere in the space captured by the sending system, and can feel as if he or she was physically in that environment.
When the sender also behaves as a receiver (that is, there is bi-directional communication), both users can interact with shared virtual objects simultaneously. This new paradigm in communication opens a full range of possibilities.
Here are some use cases where this immersive communication helps:
Training of professionals in complex, uncommon and difficult-to-reproduce processes. Remote assistance in complex processes requiring maximum immersion. For example, imagine a nuclear power plant scenario where a complex welding process is required and external assistance is mandatory. The emitting module is located in the nuclear power plant and a holo-conference is carried out. The receiver sees the same scene that the sender is sending, that is, both are virtually in the same room in the nuclear plant. With this, the receiver can freely move around the scene to determine the best way to proceed and instruct the professional in the sending node.
This immersive communication system opens new possibilities of holding more immersive and natural conferences. The system allows the different speakers to interact with digital content shared by all of them. Nowadays there is a trend to work remotely. In addition, many of businesses are international, so they require tele-conferences regularly . With this immersive communication system, all the conference parties will feel closer and the communication will be more natural.
Our system is specially interesting for Training centres that give practical lessons remotely and specially need the immersion. The student could perform the training as if he or she was physically in the room. They can freely move around the room to explore all the tools.
We bring the possibility for an insurance expert to remotely evaluate damages in vehicles. The system can be installed in the vehicle workshop to allow the expert evaluate the problem remotely as if he or she was there, saving travel expenses. The expert decides which part of the vehicle to analyse and he can zoom in to see more details.
It is time for change. Most of the population has powerful mobile devices and computers that can process 3D video and render scenes at the right frame rate. In addition, Virtual Reality is not a new concept, almost everybody knows about this technology and most of population has tried the experience. On the other hand, at the communications level, the bandwidth offered by the 4G and 5G networks is good enough to ensure a perfect resolution and frame rate in this type of 3D videos that require sending a large amount of information.
The system we have developed is adaptable to the needs of each company. For more information, please reach us on the contact form of this site.