The TOWER project will develop a new cooperative environment and work-space to enable new ways of working over distance for synchronous as well as asynchronous working modes. It will augment existing groupware systems through sensors and agents, which recognise awareness information. Presence, movement and actions of other people in a shared environment will be made perceivable in a "theatre of work" and become effective to the social process. This "Theatre of Work" will integrate symbolic acting of avatars in a dynamically created spatial 3D environment as well as ambient displays in the physical environment. This aims to overcome the social isolation of distributed team members and to improve team cohesion. Developments will be iteratively evaluated in close cooperation with users.
The result will be an environment that enhances awareness about cooperative actions;
that allows people to perceive team activities;
enables reactions to situations and thus reduces the effort for planning synchronisation and coordination.
The project will develop a model of symbolic acting to deliver the right balance between awareness and intrusion, uni-directed sharing, privacy and simplicity. An Internet-based infrastructure will form the underlying basis for TOWER. New ambient displays will be integrated into real working environments to create tangible effects of activities in virtual and real spaces. History mechanisms will enable users to recapture the activities that have happened during a temporal absence.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
EC1A 7AJ London
WC1E 6BT London
KT18 5BW Epsom