The Immersion Room, Next Level Skype
As technology and innovation progress, more things have become possible than we ever anticipated. In the field of telepresence, the progression has gone fast and it has enabled us to perform certain tasks more efficiently over the years.
First let me provide an explanation of what the phenomenon of telepresence entails. telepresence, is the phenomenon “in which special sensing and display technology enables the human to feel present at the remote location even though not really there” (Sheridan, 1995).
A form of telepresence we all know is Skype, which enables us to video chat with people using an internet connection. Although quite handy it has its limitations, as the person talking to usually only the area of the head and shoulders is displayed.
Fortunately a next level form of Skype has become available in the form of “The immersion room”, which are rooms that can be rented or purchased by a person or a company that can be used to teleconference. What is new about teleconferencing might be the question. But the immersion room differs from traditional videoconferencing. In the immersion room, camera’s are mounted beyond a polymer see-through screen, enabling eye contact instead of people looking down or up due to camera positions. Furthermore, the immersion room offers a frameless experience which gives the users a feeling of being in the same room, thus taking telepresence to a higher level.
Another aspect that makes the immersion room is the 3D projection. You get to see 3D representations of your colleagues or business partners. The immersion room also enables persons to display 3D objects and use exploding views to look at different parts. This might be useful for developing and construction teams to hold meetings.
In my opinion, the immersion room is becoming a close substitute to face to face meetings, as the only main elements of face to face contact that are missing are Haptics, Olfactics and gustation. Which to me is not that much of a burden as, I personally don’t need to touch, taste or smell my business partners or colleagues to be able to work with them efficiently.
Sheridan, T. (1995). Teleoperations, Telerobotics, and Telepresence: a Progress Report. ControlEng. Practices, 205-214.
DVE immersion room – http://dvetelepresence.com/room/home.htm