Working Group 1 is focused on the technologies required for the realization of virtual environment so that users may act and express themselves in flexible and non-predefined ways. The concept consists of multi-modality in terms of forms and media for effective utilisation of various senses, high level of interactivity in terms of range, frequency and impact of individual interaction forms, flexibility to select corresponding actions and reactions through simulations and interaction models (e.g., physics model) with limited number of pre-programmed solutions, automation to allow reduction of mundane tasks and to support simulation of sub-conscious actions, abstraction to enable various levels of control in interaction processes.
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Working Group 2 coordinates the research on emergent 3D video coding technologies, particularly focused on standards like H.264/MVC, MPEG-C and H.264/SVC and adaptation of 3D video coding to heterogeneous network topologies, in new 3D video coding frameworks that offer a optimal trade-off between high efficiency and low complexity, with special focus on 3D scalability tools and perceptual quality metrics. In the new 3D media coding architectures two level complexity levels will benefit from cooperation between different participants. At first level based on abstract 3D algorithms modelling, analyzing algorithms, data dependency, number of processing stage, critical paths and theoretical architecture. The second complexity level will cover the 3D video coding implementation modelling, addressing statically resources like memory size and number of processing units; and dynamically resources like computation and communications resources required in terms of data transfer per time unit.
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Working Group 3 is concerned with coordinating actions and scientific collaboration in novel techniques for transporting 3D Video in core network (network coding), novel transport protocols for 3D MVC video (DCCP, TFRC, etc), MVC packetisation schemes for 3D video, rate adaptation and control, 3D video delivery across heterogeneous mobile networks (Seamless 3D video delivery in mobile users). This WG also coordinates the research efforts on content aware network architectures that may allow the 3D media delivery over heterogeneous and autonomic infrastructures at maximum-possible QoS/QoE and in an end-to-end approach, along with synergy between the service and network planes, maximum flexibility to support a variety of business models, expandability and also scalability. The aim is to come up with contributions to the specification on a novel/prototype architecture that comprises an innovative service environment with overlays of interconnected 3D-centric user equipment and a novel network environment, featuring inherent 3D content awareness, with virtual overlays dedicated to 3D media transport. Towards such architecture, the major challenge is to establish a flexible user environment, on top of the Network/Service ones, in order to provide ubiquitous 3D content access in various usage scenarios over heterogeneous wired/wireless terminals featuring real-time QoE monitoring.
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Working Group 4 will bring to group discussion an analysis of the methodologies and tools that represent the state-of-the-art on the evaluation of the quality of service and experience in 3D video. Appropriate assessments will then be carried out for major application scenarios in the cinema, television and gaming sectors. The testing will be performed in a distributed way by selecting 3-5 centres among the Action partners to conduct the testing independently. The WG will develop the necessary concerted actions and joint efforts to set up a joint network of centres across Europe to organise QoE assessment sessions based on realistic conditions. Relevant outcomes of the WG include definition of requirements and setup procedures for establishing new methods for cross-validation of QoS-QoE models in user-centric application scenarios of 3D media networking.
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Working Group 5 concentrates its coordination efforts on end-user devices, namely in a very visible part of any 3D media system, which is the display and its properties. One highly intriguing and also commercially interesting category of novel displays is mid-air displays, which enable projected images to float in free space. The visual quality of the current mid-air displays is adequate (~VGA) for especially entertainment applications, but it is a major limitation for the full exploitation of the invention. The image quality depends directly on the turbulence of air and fog flows. Laser-based (PIV) fluid mechanics measurements of the flow, clearly indicate that the optimal flow has not been reached. Novel structures and materials can highly improve the flow and subsequently the image quality even to HD. Earlier experimental studies confirm that all stereoscopic and VR techniques work well on mid-air displays, even though they impose also specific challenges. On-going tests to select novel and low-cost trackers, sensors and upcoming pico projectors are expected to provide important results to enable feasible mid-air VR and augmented reality (AR) displays. The interactive mid-air VR displays will be a novel category of displays and stretch the limits of the basic technology. The result will look like what the general public or media often describes as “holographic” or “StarWars” display. Conceptually they enable many new paradigms, metaphors and possibilities also for user interfaces, telepresence, etc. Ultimately they could be embedded into everyday life artefacts such as collaborative meeting room displays.
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In the near future, 3D multimedia services and application will certainly evolve from currently available technology to new directions, many of them unforeseen at the present. For instance, current stereoscopic 3D systems still exhibit various drawbacks that limit their widespread use, such as: i) the viewer needs to wear special glasses or headgear to get the depth perception; ii) only a single scene viewpoint is displayed to the various users, which means that when the user moves around the display device the viewing perspective does not change (i.e., there is no motion parallax); and iii) the viewer may experience visual discomfort and fatigue. 3D holoscopic imaging is seen as possible future approach to overcome some of these problems, allowing fully 3D images to be visible with bare eyes, exhibiting continuous motion parallax throughout the viewing zone and presenting a variety of many different views, depending on the observers’ position. To tackle prospective evolution, this WG is concerned with the identification of next generation 3D multimedia services and applications. The activities in this WG will cover the quantification of system requirements for different services to be reported to each of the other WGs.
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