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New Media Technologies

The ACTS domain 1 on multimedia has not only demonstrated innovative technologies but has also taken new developments out and tested them in the real world. Multimedia production developments, delivering services to the end-user and demonstrating applications in real circumstances are some of the legacies of this programme.

Multimedia production developments such as cheap production techniques, enhancement of archives quality and electronic distribution of high resolution video projection were the focus of the MIRAGE , AURORA and CINENET projects. TAPESTRIES has simulated the responses of the human eye, while VIDAS and IBCoBN concentrated on facial animation, the former developing parameters using the MPEG4 standard (motion picture expert group) and the latter creating enhanced facial expression for the deaf. QUOVADIS , and its follow-up MOSQUITO , have monitored of end-to-end QoS. RESOLV and VANGUARD have paved the way for immersive virtual reality applications.

Several projects have developed techniques for end-to-end delivery of services. CRABS and CABSINET have demonstrated ‘last mile’ solutions of broadband services, paving the way for interoperability of broadcast of telecommunication services. DIGISAT has developed an Interactive Satellite DVB-S terminal for TV via satellite, including interactive services.
MUSICIAN tested the delivery of end-to-end services using existing cable TV networks. AMUSE conducted trials of interactive multimedia services using the ADSL network. SOMMIT defined a generic architecture for interactive multimedia terminals using a computer that runs Java virtual machine and MUSIST developed and implemented a user interface for those services. SETBIS built a high-performance set top box offering rapid response and security features while billing and customer care systems were developed by SPECIAL . CustomTV demonstrated an MPEG-based technique for user-friendly screen customisation and interactive programme selection. SMASH and STORIT have offered the possibility to locally store frequently used multimedia material and only surf the net for items to add in the collection. MEMO showed the combined GSM and digital audio broadcast channel to deliver multimedia information in cars or lorries. MOMUSYS developed tools for content manipulation, scalability and content-based access, for Mobile multimedia systems. Many of these projects used or contributed to the MPEG standards.

A classroom of tomorrow was created by LEVERAGE with multimedia courses for teaching foreign languages. SICMA produced a virtual 3D museum application while a transatlantic fibre optic link was used in BISEUM for similar applications. DIANE developed a WEB authoring tool for creating, annotating and replaying multimedia document. MIDSTEP and EMERALD focused their efforts on telemedecine, exchanging medical images and patient records to support remote diagnosis, and up to telesurgerey, tested in the frame of PANORAMA . Telepresence systems such as the one developed in TELEBORG will help securely visiting hazardous places. TEAM demonstrated collaborative work across the European automotive supply chain while the results of MAESTRO will benefit maintenance, installation and repair of mechanical equipment. Surveillance is yet another hot topic and MODEST showed how the images from a camera could be analysed automatically and raise alarms when needed. Finally, KIMSAC carried out trials of multimedia kiosks facilitating access to social-welfare information.

By (email removed) , Telenor AS R&D , 17.12.99