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Start date: Jan 1, 2008, End date: Nov 30, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

At its core, collaboration in most business endeavors is ultimately about presence and the face-to-face contact that is needed to establish a human atmosphere that increases the team's performance, mutual understanding and trust.Traditional "camera-on-top-of-a-TV-set-on-a-cart" videoconferencing systems have failed to meet the 'telepresence challenge' of providing a viable alternative for physical business travel, which is nowadays characterized by unacceptable delays, costs, inconvenience, and an increasingly large ecological footprint. Even recent high-end commercial solutions such as Cisco's TelePresence, Polycom's RPX, and HP's HALO, while partially removing some of these traditional shortcomings, still present the problems of not scaling easily, are expensive to implement, do not utilize 3D life-sized representations of the remote participants and only address eye contact and gesture-based interactions in very limited ways. As a result, none of them is able to convey a natural impression to the remote conferees.The 3D Presence project proposes a research and development agenda that is both timely and necessary. It is born from the realization that effective communication and collaboration with geographically dispersed co-workers, partners, and customers requires a natural, comfortable, and easy-to-use experience that utilizes the full bandwidth of non-verbal communication.With this goal in mind, the 3D Presence project will implement a multi-party, high-end 3D videoconferencing concept that will tackle the problem of transmitting the feeling of physical presence in real-time to multiple remote locations in a transparent and natural way. In order to realize this objective, 3D Presence will go beyond the current state of the art by emphasizing the transmission, efficient coding and accurate representation of physical presence cues such as multiple user (auto)stereopsis, multi-party eye contact and multi-party gesture-based interaction.
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