aka VAPID (Vision Augmented Panoscope with Interactional Dynamics)
Work in progress 2003-
The VAPID system is unique in that it will be a simple, comparatively low cost, lightweight, portable, multi-purpose immersive environment, with fully tested unencumbering vision based sensing, for use in embodied interactive video, embodied teleconfencing/telematics and embodied multi-user virtual worlds.
VAPID combines and builds upon two existing technologies, the Courchesne (et al) Panoscope and the Penny/Bernhardt TVS multicamera 3D machine vision system, to create an interactive immersive environment which will function as the basis for a variety of applications. It is ienvisaged that multiple telepanoscopes will interface with shared virtual environments.
The system creates an immersive 3D world for a single user, allows unencumbered gesture based navigation and control, and generates a physically accurate realtime 3D avatar as user representation in virtual worlds. This in turn allows a range of embodied interaction in networked 3D worlds.
Panoscope is the general name of a panaoramic video system developed by Luc Courchesne, UQAM, Montreal. The particular Panoscope design I intend to use is an 8'x16' inflatable fabric hemisphere which functions as a walk-in immersive environment (see image). Courscesne uses a 180x360 fisheye lens mounted on a projector located centrally pointing down to display video caputered using the same lens. the user enters the panoscope by lifting the 'skirt' and stepping in through its 'hem', a 4' circle on the floor.
The Panoscope will be combined with the Penny/Bernhardt TVS multicamera 3D machine vision system. The Traces Vision System builds a realtime 3D model of the user from four camera images. This model can be utilised for the generation of anatomically accurate real time avatars, and for gesture based navigation. The projected image will also be visible from outside the panoscope.
The following related projects (among others) will utilise the system and contribute to its development:
Basic kit for all projects will include at least two panoscopes (structure, computer/video hardware and projector), along with two sets of the Traces Vision System, (four video cameras, two PCs, related hardware). Estimated cost of total kit (one instance) $10-15K, packable in a medium sized car trunk.