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Adrian Pennington, September 15, 2011

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True telepresence, holographic or volumetric 3D are part of a new wave of
imaging technologies which are set to revolutionise the way we communicate,
says Adrian Pennington.
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From its inception video conferencing was supposed to allow participants to see non-verbal
communication, yet systems to date haven
being in the room.
The limitations of the technology have been exposed, perhaps because conferees remain
trapped inside small, multiple displays and with eye contact disconcertingly dictated by
camera position.
The emergence of new techniques, variously dubbed 3D or holographic, may provide a way
out of the impasse.

DVE Immersion Room
for most, video conferencing does
-founder of US-based Digital Video
Enterprises (DVE).
Some companies bring in top AV firms to design showcase conference rooms for hundreds of
thousands of dollars, yet they fall flat.

awkward sense that the people on the monitor are looking away and not truly towards the

Machtig classifies true telepresence as one which features a camera optically aligned with the
eyes of the person on the screen; a life-size image with upper body arm gestures clearly seen;
correct cultural distance where the image of the person is at table height with the image
residing just beyond that; and an image quality of broadcast-quality or better.

It markets an Immersion Room which features a high brightness projector built in to the
conference table which projects HD1080 60fps video on to a 120in anti-reflective screen
which beam-splits the image to creates a 3D illusion.
Conferees in another location are captured by a single HD camera against chroma key or
blackened wall.
At a cost of U

Despite this, Machtig says the system is being moved into large multi-national firms and US
defence c
Volumetric 3D

projected image on a translucent screen and a slimmed down U$80,000 podium version.

that the terms 3D and holographic telepresence have become muddled as companies try to
differentiate their products.
c projection technology also based on

representatives into a corporate event in Bangalore.

The Musion system encodes and transmits a 2D HD image over dedicated 20MB pipes and
decoded for back-projection on to a transparent Eyeliner screen.
-screen system we can generate a five metre-wide HD image from a single
s Rock.

showcase their cable and fibre connectivity.

Musion for Speedo
Tests have also been made to link hotels in the Hilton chain for possible installation of
Musion 3D conferencing facilities.

Alternative approach
The Black Eyed Peas performed at the NRJ Awards in Cannes last January (2011) in a
performance featuring Fergie and Taboo as holograms alongside Will. I. Am. and Apl.De.Ap
using the Musion Eyeliner system.
Neither Musion nor DVE would claim to have true 3D systems, in the sense of stereoscopic
imaging. Hungarian developer Holografika however believe it does

Musion created a Lewis Hamilton hologram
The HoloVizio C80 is front-projected and provides a three-metre wide 3D auto stereoscopic
(glasses free) image.
f delivering the limited number of views (two) of current
stereo 3D systems, the HoloVizio display generates a whole 3D light field with no jumps
between views and a fully continuous motion parallax.
pic, multiview, volumetric and

naked eye for multiple viewers simultaneously.

A realtime demonstration has been conducted using a rig of 27 CCD cameras which capture a
combined 18 megapixels.

intensity to various directions and composes them into a continuous 3D view.

HoloVizio technology

use with Cisco, T
However it is expensive and only premium brand customers, telcos or oil companies, have
the budgets to pay for it.

users and this is an ap

challenges to be solved, such as latency, better compression, placement of cameras, but we
are ge
One of its main rivals is another experimental research project, the EU funded 3DPresence
which is backed by a consortium including Telefonica Research, Fraunhofer-HHI, Philips
Research, Radvision and Eindhoven University.

Zebra: Seattle architecture
The uniqueness of this system is a special lenticular screen which renders a multiview auto
stereoscopic experience in two perspectives.
Viewers sitting to the left of the screen receive a multiview comprised of 15 views, and those
to the right of the screen also receive a different 15-view multiview.
more realistic sense of in-

Meanwhile Texan firm Zebra Imaging already renowned for its patented holographic print
process is taking its technology beyond static images to dynamic, updatable ones.
It recently completed a contract with the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency to
create a holographic display that allows viewers to zoom in, pan, rotate and otherwise
manipulate a 3D image using a mouse.

ay on
the wall, becoming high-
It is not inconceivable that true telepresence featuring 180-degree glasses-free realtime
transmissions will dominate the video conferencing sector, perhaps before 2020.