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Being There - Without Going


The project will investigate and further develop novel camera technologies into an innovative mediation system that allows close to photo realistic 3D real-time visualisation of REAL (and possibly known) places for a moving observer. The visualisation will provide a high degree of impressiveness and support new types of empirical studies of the feeling of presence in a REAL scenario that is made artificially available for perceptual inspection. This is hard or impossible with conventional VR. Using this new technique in varying combinations with advanced versions of augmented reality, the project will contribute with empirical evidence to the development of a general multilevel interpretation of presence, on the basis of a context otherwise not available. The interpretation will provide a reference for empirical studies to optimise the technology in respect of aspects of presence found important for observation.

The project shall act as a melting pot for mixing novel technology, that allows real-time visualisation for a moving observer of recorded REAL PLACES, with ideas of researchers from diverse fields to develop new tools for empirical and theoretical studies of presence based on the concept of the observer's embodiment in the computationally created virtual environment. As real places (possibly known to the observer) with man-made and/or organic objects (like trees, foliage etc.) are otherwise hard to represent in a virtual environment, the aim is to bring about new insight into presence, when also comparison to real presence is possible.

Tools for Presence: The project will develop and explore new recording and visualisation technologies enabling people to experience presence at REAL and possibly known places - without actually having to GO to those places. The experience will be based on true-to-life visual and auditorial sensory information presented in real-time. The technology will be designed to support the observer's active exploration of the visual and auditory space, thus adding an intuitive physical dimension to the experience. This physical dimension is paramount to achieving embodiment, i.e. the observer's sensation of being bodily grounded in an environment. The new technology of Image Based Rendering does not require a reconstructed geometrical model of the scene. It bypasses an important technological problem and presents a break-through, but large amount of image data needs to be stored, and recalled for real-time visualisation. Through augmentation, visually and auditorily, a sense of life can be added including objects for interaction. Projection technologies will range from HMD to large screens incl. 6-sided CAVE.
The empirical research will exploit the possibilities to investigate the experience of 'being there' 'When we refer to REAL places and possibly a place which the observer knows from previous real presence. The theoretical framework will be based on the concept of embodiment in conjunction with presence and investigate how it arises from e.g. fidelity of experience and presentation, domain specific elements, the sense of place, and physiological and neurological aspects like consistency of sensory-motor co-ordination. The framework will be developed in close interaction with, and as a guide for, technical development by focusing on the particular aspects that the technology offers as well as on its weak points. Feedback from empirical studies will form an essential part of the project.

Call for proposal

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Fredrik bajers vej 5
9220 Aalborg

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EU contribution
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Participants (4)