“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:
- SWINDLE COLUMN: Could video conferencing save court’s time, taxpayer money?
I wrote a column about video conference hearings in Georgia. As it turned out, COVID has forced the courts to adapt to the virus. One of the main tools that is used in the criminal justice system ...
- How Technology can Improve Sales Performance
Instead, concentrate on implementing the technologies that will result in the most significant improvements in performance and productivity. FREMONT, CA: Sales managers and teams get virtually plugged ...
- Brave's non-tracking, browser-based video conferencing tool is out of beta
Brave, the startup behind the eponymous non-tracking browser, has launched a non-tracking video conferencing add-on out of beta -- letting all users make and receive video calls straight from their ...
- How Collaboration Technology Has Become Essential for Businesses Today
How Collaboration Technology Has Become Essential for Businesses Today By CIOReview - Collaboration vendors will make it easier than ever for individuals to create workflows that include alerts, ...
- The Latest Conferencing Room Microphones
With many employees returning to offices with hybrid working arrangements, the demand for flexible and high-performing conference room microphones is rising fast.
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
3-D video conferencing
- Zooming In On Communication: 3 Ways To Get More Out Of Your Virtual Meetings
Let’s take a closer look at a few things we need to think about in order to maximize the benefits of a virtual platform when it comes to our communication.
- Comparing the Top 3 Business Phone Services of 2021
The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC) has recently ranked the best business phone service providers that are currently available within the U.S. This ...
- Brave is taking the video conferencing fight to Zoom
Brave has added video calls to its browser to provide users with a privacy-focused video conferencing alternative.
- Big 12 Power Rankings for week 3 of the 2021 College Football Season
The Big 12 represented itself well again this week as they went 7-0 in non-conference play including big wins over Virginia Tech, Nebraska, and Boise State. Baylor and Kansas kicked off non-conference ...
- Shore Conference football scores, highlights, Week 3
NETWORK New Jersey wants to be your top destination for Week 3 of Shore Conference high school football content. We've got the scores, highlights, photos and videos from the premier games of the ...