The Posture Platform¶
Posture is an immersive telepresence platform that allows users to explore virtual worlds and socialize. Immersed in sound and image in a virtual landscape extending in all directions, users are captured by a series of video cameras placed at the horizons and their 360 degree video representation is transmitted in real time to participants in virtual proximity. This project's objective is to invite the body into cyberspace, restoring non-verbal communication and social rules of interaction like those described by Edward T. Hall in The Hidden Dimension (1966). The platform is composed of a server-client network connecting the bases where users can enter the shared virtual space. These bases are constructed from Panoscopes (a monochannel immersive projection system), to which a series of cameras are added on the horizon around the point of observation. An iPhone application (PosturePad) allows the users to move about in the virtual space. Real-time communications bewteen the users is carried out with the help of a headphone/microphone combo.
The Posture Platform is used in developments carried out in collaboration between the SAT and the University of Montreal. It uses a system of video capture and transmission in 360 degrees that adds to the functionality of Scenic, also developed by the SAT. These functionalities, combined with SPIN (Spatial Interaction Framework), are at the base of immersive telepresence experiences.
This project brought about the first immersive telepresence demonstration inaugurating a permanent connection between the SAT and The Museum of Arts and Crafts in August 2011.
Immersive telepresence engenders a new space for creation and socialization that promises to profoundly change our day to day lives.
Researchers: Luc Courchese, Mike Wozniewski, Alexandre Quessy, Michael Richard, David Duguay
Concept, design, scenario, direction, production, photography, soundscape: Luc Courchesne, System architecture (SPIN): Mike Wozniewski,
Network administrator: Simon Piette, camera array development: Daniel Labonté, video capture and streaming(Milhouse): Tristan Matthews,
additional programming: Alexandre Quessy, Gideon May, iPhone development and web design: Samuel Vermette, 3D modeling: David Duguay,
assistance and coordination: Audrey Desjardins, philosopher in residence: Christoph Brunner, designer in residence: Marilyn Teuwen
Tools used: SPIN
For 9 days, a bilateral connection was activated between the [SAT]Metalab and the Chapel at the Museum of Arts and Crafts of CNAM, creating the opportunity for Montrealers and Parisians to meet and exchange in real time in a virtual space shared on both side of the atlantic!
Posture is an immersive telepresence platform for adventure and socialization in cyberspace. By using multi-camera recording techniques to capture participants body and single channel immersive projection to render the scenes, it creates a shared virtual terrain where participants see each others in 360° video. The Posture platform is thus able to restore non-verbal communication and spatial behaviors (Hall, 1966)1 to greatly enrich the social experience in virtual reality.
The Posture Network is a server-client architecture connecting a number of Posture Bases (displays capable of immersive projection and 360° video capture) from which visitors, equipped with the iPhone 3GS's Posture Pad, can explore virtual terrains and engage with one another as if they were in the same physical space. The server constantly updates all connected bases (clients) with the position and 360° video appearance of every participant. This allows for those in "visual proximity" to see each other and to interact in real-time.