New technology makes telepresence look almost authentic

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Aalto University, the University of the Arts of Helsinki and the University of Tampere are collaborating to develop a virtual meeting that looks as if all of the participants share the same space. In addition to sight and hearing, a sense of authenticity can also be created through touch and smell.

Aalto University and the University of Tampere received a Research Infrastructure Grant of € 2.4 million from the Academy of Finland for the MAGICS project. Universities will form an infrastructure network to support research in mobile recordings and virtual environments. The project has a special focus on immersive and natural existence, as the participant becomes part of the virtual world.

MAGICS technology can be used among other things in artistic performances. Image credit: Aalto Studios.

MAGICS uses the latest digital technology to remotely create art shows, photorealistic games and other solutions. The consortium is chaired by Professor Miku Sams Aalto University with Professor Atanas Guchhev From the University of Tampere as Deputy Director.

Coronavirus has greatly increased the need for a new kind of remote presence. A seemingly natural remote presence can replace physical and social meetings. Virtual technology could enable people to sit at the same table. All of this requires research and development of new technologies, says Mikko Sams.

A concrete example of the new technology is a collaborative virtual studio project that includes the national broadcaster Yle and Keho Interactive.

One person can physically reside in a virtual studio at Yle, and another at Aalto Studios. Motion data can be transferred from the camera from one studio to another so that the people are in exactly the same space from the viewer’s point of view. Marcus Korhonen, Project Technical Director and Director of Aalto Studios.

The team at Aalto focuses on measuring, analyzing and digitizing the behavior and experiences of people involved in research, performances and games in as real situations as possible. The team builds at the University of Tampere and uses virtual worlds and telepresence in game research and display technology.

The advantage of a joint venture is that the same technology can easily be used to meet a variety of needs of a diverse group of actors. For example, the same equipment used in game research at the University of Tampere can be used to produce art at the University of the Arts in Helsinki. Teru Heikkinen, Postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Arts in Helsinki.

MAGICS equipment allows researchers to accurately measure and analyze body functions and facial expressions. The measurements help them understand how people interact and understand each other, and the types of emotions that appear while playing games, for example.

Visual cues, interaction and senses can be very lifelike. Spectators can move around and experience being inside a theatrical performance. In addition to the visual scenes recreated realistically, they can feel the moisture with the help of special gloves, or they can smell industrially produced scents, says Atanas Gochev.

The new technology can be used in the performing arts in several ways: for example, performances can be viewed in many locations simultaneously, and the scene can be produced almost entirely.

Aalto University and the University of Tampere received a Research Infrastructure Grant of € 2.4 million from the Academy of Finland for the MAGICS project. Universities will form an infrastructure network to support research in mobile recordings and virtual environments. The project has a special focus on immersive and natural existence, as the participant becomes part of the virtual world.

MAGICS uses the latest digital technology to remotely create art shows, photorealistic games and other solutions. The consortium is chaired by Professor Miku Sams Aalto University with Professor Atanas Guchhev From the University of Tampere as Deputy Director.

Coronavirus has greatly increased the need for a new kind of remote presence. A seemingly natural remote presence can replace physical and social meetings. Virtual technology could enable people to sit at the same table. All of this requires research and development of new technologies, says Mikko Sams.

A concrete example of the new technology is a collaborative virtual studio project that includes the national broadcaster Yle and Keho Interactive.

One person can physically reside in a virtual studio at Yle, and another at Aalto Studios. Motion data can be transferred from the camera from one studio to another so that the people are in exactly the same space from the viewer’s point of view. Marcus Korhonen, Project Technical Director and Director of Aalto Studios.

The team at Aalto focuses on measuring, analyzing and digitizing the behavior and experiences of people involved in research, performances and games in as real situations as possible. The team builds at the University of Tampere and uses virtual worlds and telepresence in game research and display technology.

The advantage of a joint venture is that the same technology can easily be used to meet a variety of needs of a diverse group of actors. For example, the same equipment used in in-game research at the University of Tampere can be used to produce art at the University of the Arts in Helsinki. Teru Heikkinen, Postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Arts in Helsinki.

MAGICS equipment allows researchers to accurately measure and analyze body functions and facial expressions. The measurements help them understand how people interact and understand each other, and the types of emotions that appear while playing games, for example.

Visual cues, interaction and senses can be very lifelike. Spectators can move around and experience being inside a theatrical performance. In addition to the visual scenes recreated realistically, they can feel the moisture with the help of special gloves, or they can smell industrially produced scents, says Atanas Gochev.

The new technology can be used in the performing arts in several ways: for example, performances can be viewed in many locations simultaneously, and the scene can be produced almost entirely.

Source: Aalto University




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