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Deployment of interpersonal videoconferencing systems on ibc networks


The DIVINE project aims to develop and implement an ATM based high quality multipoint conference system in real end-user environments. The interoperability with already existing H.320 compliant equipment on N-ISDN is one of the major targets of the Project.
The DIVINE project aims to be a 'product oriented' project : the reuse of the results of the project is a key issue for DIVINE.
The installation of the first DIVINE system within end-user environments is the current major achievement of the Project.
Expected Impact
Through trials in the real usage environment of well-known leading industrial companies, the DIVINE project will increase the interest of potential investors in IBC technology.

Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Main deliverables
Demonstration of a high quality multi-point desktop videoconferencing system on an ATM broadband network which is able to inter-operate with existing H.320 videophones on ISDN.
Contribution to the programme
Validation of a high quality multi-point video-conferencing application over a LAN/WAN broadband network.
Technical Approach
The DIVINE Project aims to be a 'product-oriented' project. The reuse of the results of the project is a key issue. This implies that the DIVINE system has to match user requirements with regard to functionality, quality of service and cost.

To achieve this goal, the DIVINE development process is based on an iterative user-centered and market-oriented methodology. During the Project, five sets of pilots will be developed and tested in real end-user environments, each with upgraded functionality and facilities. Five user companies are involved in the Project as Associated Partners. The current installed basis of the involved users is above 400 videoconferencing terminals. They will participate in the identification and specification of the applications, as well as in the evaluation and measurement of the usage experiments. The results of each trial serve as feedback in the development of the next system pilot.

The objective of the DIVINE project is to take advantage of the recent emergence of standards for high performance and low cost multimedia PCs, in order to have at the end a highly portable and low cost videoconferencing solution.
DIVINE aims to be a pilot application providing standard, high quality conferencing, groupware and multimedia services running on a broadband ATM network. The DIVINE groupware application will gather the basic teleconferencing facilities (File and Message Transfer, Still Image Sharing) but also a shared application facility (Joint Editing, common pointer and marker).
While in the ISDN environment the ITU-T H.320 set of Recommendations is well known and accepted, in the ATM-LAN environment the almost finalised H.321 and H.310 sets of recommendations are not yet fully implementable. In order to achieve the product-oriented major objectives of DIVINE, the H.323 recommendation, which defines the analogous terminal for non QoS-guaranteed LANs, will be implemented over ATM in the first stage and is already being tested within the DIVINE pilots set-up in Germany (user CoIn) and on the French Riviera.
In the meantime as regards the upgrade of the H.323 system, the Project is planning to investigate the concept of an interactive multimedia conferencing terminal based on the MPEG-2 standard, which is said to be the backbone of the next generation of communication systems.

'Nice to meet you ...' by the use of DIVINE
Summary of Trial
The field trials will take place in real end-users' work environments, where for a duration of 3 and 6 months respectively the system will be used to support daily work. During this time, quantitative and qualitative data regarding costs and benefits as well as user requirements and usability of the system will be collected.
The first DIVINE pilot was set up in early December, 1995 with the use of two terminals borrowed from the R2025-MIMIS project. This trial connected the premises of Alcatel at Lannion and Velizy.
The following one was set-up at the end of 1996 in both Germany and on the French Riviera for a duration of 3 months. The pilot in France involves 3 different organisations linked with the University of NICE : 2 of them are located in the Sophia-Antipolis area, 30km away and the third one is in NICE. This trial is using the facilities of the ATM pilot 'EuroSud155'. The pilot in Germany is installed within the user CoIn between 3 users in Berlin and Potsdam. This trial differs from the one underway in France, as it uses the ATM/ISDN gateway.
These two trials are planned to be followed by 2 other trials within THOMSON and FORD (April '97), then in Autumn '97 by three trials in THOMSON, ALCATEL and CoIn. The DIVINE Project is scheduled to end with the installation of 2 final trials in ESA and FORD.
In addition to these trials, the DIVINE Project plans to perform a joint evaluation of the DIVINE system with AC075-EIES, and joint demonstrations with AC009-VANTAGE and AC094-EXPERT.
Key Issues
Pilot trials in real business environment with real users,
Development of a multi-party multimedia conferencing system on IBC network interoperable with ITU-H.320 systems on N-ISDN,
To facilitate future market introduction by addressing real users requirements, usage experiments, involvement of high potential customers and cost/benefit analysis

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Z.i. De Toulon Est
83078 Toulon

Participants (13)

Alcanet International
Alcatel ISR
Centro Studi e Laboratori Telecomunicazioni SpA
Via G. Reiss Romoli, 274
10148 Torino
Ecole J.F à Carqueiranne
Thomson F.M
Un. of Cologne
Universität Bremen

28335 Bremen