The future of 3D video conferencing?
3D Focus, Dimenco, Triaxes, Tomsk Polytechnic University and Ravensbourne, successfully conducted a groundbreaking glasses free 3D conference on Thursday, connecting delegates over 4000 miles away in a futuristically immersive way.
Part of the Research Strand during the Ravensbourne 3D Storytelling event, the trial set out to provide a public glimpse of what video conferencing could be like in the near future. The audience in Tomsk, Russia were captured by a Panasonic AG-3DA1 camera and the London audience were captured with two Panasonic P2 cameras installed on a 3D Factory mirror rig.
Each side-by-side stereo feed was converted into a 2D + Depth Map (2D+Z) video stream in real-time by Triaxes NetJet software which enables stereo content to be displayed on autostereoscopic lenticular screens. The HD video and accompanying depth maps were transmitted in both directions, over 4000 miles to London/Tomsk. At each end, a Triaxes 3D Media Player received the IP broadcast, de-multiplexed and decoded the audio/video streams, added special control information (3D effect settings) and then sent the 2D+Z feed to a 42” Dimenco glasses free 3D display in London and a 55” display in Tomsk. The Rendering Cores integrated into the Dimenco displays then calculated the data and rendered out 28 viewpoints from the original 2D+Z stream.
The video was transmitted as a MPEG TS (transport stream) – the method commonly used in TV broadcasting.
Due to limitations of the IP channel, a low bitrate of 6.5 Mbits was used although Triaxes CEO Alexey Polyakov would like to see this be improved in the future saying “In the further demos we could use more complex compression methods which would provide better video quality with the same or less bitrate. Such a system would require more powerful computers on both sides.”
During the 30 minute session, Triaxes Technical Officer Vlad Sidash spoke about how the system could be made compatible with a regular 3D channel feed such as Sky 3D, for output and real-time conversion to a lenticular format. Triaxes Manager Marina Pinzhina spoke about the technology and the requirement for generation of multiple frames.
Guests in the audience took the opportunity to ask their new friends about the differences between the Russian and UK media and Head of TPU Department on International Scientific and Educational Management Mazurina Olga, expressed her keenness to form closer links with Ravensbourne in London, as both Universities share a reputation of technological innovation and creativity.
Once the connection was closed, the Triaxes team in Russia surveyed the audience and we can now reveal the audience feedback. Marina Pinzhina took the opportunity to gage people’s perception, summarised as impressive but with room for improvements. She said "The glasses-free 3D conference was something really new in Tomsk that generated a great response from the audience. We had over 60 people from the university, government and media, when the expected number was 25 only. So it was hard to find the suitable viewing point for some of them. That is why we could not count the survey results as absolute one. Still the general opinion was rather positive.”
- Overall, the experience was evaluated at 6.5 out of 10. The audience experienced the effect (especially those who were close to display).
- 50% said that it offered a significant difference to a Skype experience.
- Elecard group will be exhibiting at NAB next week showing a glasses-free 3D presentation system by Triaxes & Dimenco. If you would like to know more visit www.triaxes.tv/uk.
Find the full version at 3dfocus.co.uk