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NTT Docomo are currently developing a 3D Live Communication System and have presented it as a possible next step beyond regular video calls. During the conversation, words take the form of images in the virtual space shared by the users, enhancing the feeling that even though the users may be physically far away from each other, they are in a shared space. This virtual space is composed in the Docomo network cloud and streamed directly to each users device. “One feature of this system is speech recognition technology. This extracts characteristic keywords from the spoken words, and embodies them as objects.” “Another feature is spatial recognition technology, which tracks 360° videos or 3D objects as if you’re actually looking at them. So if you look in from above, the object appears as seen from above, and if you look in sideways, the object appears as seen from the side.” AR markers are used, with the conversation partners positions fixed, and by changing the orientation of the tablet they can explore the virtual space. In the current technology demonstration, experiences based on certain content keywords have been created, so users can be transformed into certain animals, or they can warp to other virtual environments such as a theme park or the surface of the moon. Within these virtual environments, information can also be presented, and the users can discuss the information being shared. “Currently, the system needs a special range-imaging camera to make people appear in the space. But it isn’t necessary to put people in the space, so for example, if you just want to see a CG background, or share a travel video, we could provide this using just a tablet.” “Here, we’re just exhibiting a prototype of this technology. Regarding services actual customers could use, we’re still thinking about those, so we haven’t decided our timeline yet.” Posted by Don Kennedy and...

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Experience virtual worlds with the Docomo 3D Live Communication System

NTT Docomo are currently developing a 3D Live Communication System and have presented it as a possible next step beyond regular video calls. During the conversation, words take the form of images in the virtual space shared by the users, enhancing the feeling that even though the users may be physically far away from each other, they are in a shared space. This virtual space is composed in the Docomo network cloud and streamed directly to each users device. “One feature of this system is speech recognition technology. This extracts characteristic keywords from the spoken words, and embodies them as objects.” “Another feature is spatial recognition technology, which tracks 360° videos or 3D objects as if you’re actually looking at them. So if you look in from above, the object appears as seen from above, and if you look in sideways, the object appears as seen from the side.” AR markers are used, with the conversation partners positions fixed, and by changing the orientation of the tablet they can explore the virtual space. In the current technology demonstration, experiences based on certain content keywords have been created, so users can be transformed into certain animals, or they can warp to other virtual environments such as a theme park or the surface of the moon. Within these virtual environments, information can also be presented, and the users can discuss the information being shared. “Currently, the system needs a special range-imaging camera to make people appear in the space. But it isn’t necessary to put people in the space, so for example, if you just want to see a CG background, or share a travel video, we could provide this using just a tablet.” “Here, we’re just exhibiting a prototype of this technology. Regarding services actual customers could use, we’re still thinking about those, so we haven’t decided our timeline yet.” Posted by Don Kennedy and...

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NEW FRONTIER: Sundance Opens Up Conversation Between Hollywood & Tech

New Frontier: Sundance Opens Up Conversation Between Hollywood and Tech “It’s about story.” That’s pretty much the refrain you’ll get from everyone who works at Sundance, and it never gets old. In fact, it’s really rather refreshing each time you hear it considering that for most of Hollywood, it’s about money. But it’s no surprise that for Sundance, even when it’s about technology, it’s really about story. I recently sat down with Michelle Satter, founding director of the Feature Film Program, in the Sundance offices to chat about how their New Frontiers program is helping open up the conversation between filmmakers and the tech crowd to facilitate collaboration in the name of storytelling. “We wanted to come up with a different name than “transmedia,'” Satter said in reference to the New Frontier Story Lab inspired by the New Frontier exhibition held annually in Park City, Utah. For those of you who haven’t been to Sundance or skipped over that section of the festival, it’s primarily about artists working at the intersection of film, art and new media technology. What does that mean? You can take a look at some of the work online. Artists use film, games, mobile apps, performance and animation to create a unique platform by which to tell a story. “We put our stake in the ground around story, not technology… but the next generation of storytellers realizes that audiences want to participate and not just with an alternate ending to a film… We’re also looking to use technology to improve the integrity of storytelling. It’s not just for marketing.” For anyone who’s been getting their bread buttered on the Internet lately, you may have noticed your writings or short films have been reduced to the term “content,” which seems to remove some of the artistry associated with it — as if anything to fill the space will do. “For us, it’s not about developing content, it’s about developing stories and developing artists that work in between filmmaking and new media technologies” noted Satter. “It’s about how to connect pieces of a story into something greater than its parts.” Conversations needed to start happening between the storytellers and those in the tech sector looking to create technologies to enhance the narrative experience. Sundance recognized the need to get everyone in the same space, storytellers were calling for a greater understanding of the new media tools at their disposal and tech entrepreneurs were requiring an understanding of the mechanics of complex storytelling and world-building. To accomplish this, Sundance started rebuilding their New Frontier program around 2007 and it’s been gaining popularity and interest with each passing year. “In my years in the business, this is definitely the biggest shift [in technology] that’s happened,” said Satter. “There was desktop editing, cameras that made filmmaking cheaper and more accessible… but what’s happening now, it’s hard for everyone to keep up.” In 2011, Sundance held their inaugural New Frontier Lab. In a similar spirit to their screenwriting, directing and producing labs, the New Frontier lab exposes emerging artists to established technical advisors and screenwriters to develop “a rich story world with meaning,” said Satter. It was such a success, they’re continuing with the endeavor. And it looks to be an interesting outlet for experimentation that we should all be keeping an eye on. The good folks at Sundance provided so much insight into the New Frontier program and how they’re moving forward with new media technologies, I can’t contain it all in one post that you guys will read on your coffee break — including more on the New Frontier...

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The Global Transition to a New Economy

The Global Transition to a New Economy maps innovative projects that challenge business as usual and contribute to the systemic change to our economy that we urgently require. Together, these projects create a world that prioritizes human wellbeing, within environmental limits. www.gtne.org

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Immersive Education – The New Frontier!

Immersive Education, a Media Grid initiative, is an award-winning learning platform that combines interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat, Web cameras (webcams) and rich digital media with collaborative online course environments and classrooms. Immersive Education gives participants a sense of “being there” even when attending a class or training session in person isn’t possible, practical, or desirable, which in turn provides educators and students with the ability to connect and communicate in a way that greatly enhances the learning experience. Originally available only to university students, the next generation of Immersive Education is focused on a broad spectrum of academic and non-academic users (higher education, K-12, and corporate training)....

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