Telepresence: The Next Communications Paradigm
The Internet provides access to enormous amounts of information and fast communication over large parts of the world, but it provides neither the audio quality of conventional telephones or commercial radio, nor the visual quality of commercial television. While we can visit remote places on the Web, we do not get a sense of being there.
Telepresence is a new form of interactive multimedia experience of real-world events. The sense of presence at a remote event is achieved through faithful modeling of the visual and acoustical properties of the environment and by allowing the viewer to participate in the event and to see the event from different points of view. I discuss three Bell Labs research efforts in Telepresence: 1) Sea of Images, a practical approach to very dense sampling of the visual aspects of a remote environment, 2) realistic modeling of reverberant sound in complex 3D environments, and 3) LucentVision, a system for enhancing live television and Internet broadcasts of the sport of tennis.