In this article the setup and working principle of a new telecollaboration system “blue-c” is described. This system is an attempt to meet the rising expectations from industry of an IT-supported telecollaboration system. One basic requirement is that a three-dimensional representation of objects be possible together with threedimensional representations of the remote users. Since gesture and mimicry represent an important information channel during a discussion, a realistic 3D video representation is used instead of simple animated avatars.
A simultaneous projection and image acquisition of the user in a telecollaboration system is necessary to allow simultaneous work of all team members. Thus, in the introduced system, problems had to be overcome such as providing, simultaneously, illumination for the image acquisition by the cameras and darkness for a bright projection to be seen by the user. A new approach was taken to integrate the cameras into the system by placing them behind active projection walls, which can be switched from transparent to opaque electrically. Unlike other systems, the cameras are therefore not visible to the user, who thus behaves more naturally. In addition, since the cameras are placed outside of the projection room, there is more space to move inside the immersive environment.
The article describes the technology and functionality of the system, as well as the gathered experiences.