Low-cost telepresence for collaborative virtual environments.IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph. 2007 Jan-Feb; 13(1):156-66.IT
We present a novel low-cost method for visual communication and telepresence in a CAVE -like environment, relying on 2D stereo-based video avatars. The system combines a selection of proven efficient algorithms and approximations in a unique way, resulting in a convincing stereoscopic real-time representation of a remote user acquired in a spatially immersive display. The system was designed to extend existing projection systems with acquisition capabilities requiring minimal hardware modifications and cost. The system uses infrared-based image segmentation to enable concurrent acquisition and projection in an immersive environment without a static background. The system consists of two color cameras and two additional b/w cameras used for segmentation in the near-IR spectrum. There is no need for special optics as the mask and color image are merged using image-warping based on a depth estimation. The resulting stereo image stream is compressed, streamed across a network, and displayed as a frame-sequential stereo texture on a billboard in the remote virtual environment.