Efforts for the creation of virtual fairs have so far concentrated on the development of a wholly virtual environment, which is effectively an enhanced catalogue. What differentiates eFairs to other virtual fairs is that it complements the actual live exhibition or showhouse rather than replacing it, requiring a minimal customisation effort for each installation. The eFairs project promotes an innovative environment for the interaction between exhibition organisers and showhouse suppliers, with visitors and clients respectively, by integrating the communicative power of the Web with the potential of interactive video. Using the omni-directional panoramic video technology eFairs gives every user the possibility to control individually the desired point of view to the scene. Instead of using mechanical pan-/tilt-/zoom cameras that would only allow one user at one time to control the camera image, the eFairs viewer applies a special mirror technique that allows 360-degree video at one shot. This means that even during a live streaming every user can choose his point of view individually since panning tilting and zooming is done by the eFairs-software and not by the camera. In the area of video interaction, the project aims to link the well-understood electronic catalogue paradigm with the images delivered by a web-camera. In particular, the user must be able to directly click on an object in the image and receive the appropriate information associated with this object and stored in the electronic catalogue.
For this purpose eFairs uses a static environment where hyperlinks are manually predefined as well as an experimental dynamic approach where Content Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) technology combined shape extraction methods is used to dynamically identify objects in the video in order to link additional information with them. In addition to the software produced during the course of the project, the consortium also produced:
-A business plan that discusses the market that eFairs would be launched in while it also examines the best possible strategic options for bringing eFairs into market. This document (D61D) can certainly guide thoroughly any interested parties that would wish to exploit eFairs commercially.
-A User Manual was produced guiding all parties through all the installation processes associated with eFairs. In total, the eFairs consortium has created a solid base that consists of a fully operational prototype along with all the documentation that would allow for a fast transition to the next step.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
N20 9BH London
ST5 1TT Newcastle Staffordshire
17343 Ag. Dimitrios - Athens