Kyoung Park,
Luc Renambot,
Jason Leigh,
Andrew Johnson

The goal of the Continuum Project is to develop integrated ubiquitous tools and environments to enhance collaboration amongst distantly located knowledge workers, such as scientists and engineers.

The Continuum centers around the concept of distributed, collaborative, "amplified work environments" where collaborators gather to solve problems assisted by advanced collaboration, computation and visualization technologies. Visualization and collaboration technologies include interactive stereoscopic computer graphics, multi-site audio/video conferencing, and high resolution tiled graphics displays. Backing these technologies are clusters of PCs connected over extremely highspeed gigabit networks.

The following describe technologies that are currently being developed:

Tiled high resolution displays that display both AccessGrid conference windows and information artifacts such as text documents, web pages, spreadsheets, and scientific visualizations.These tiled displays must be supported by a compute cluster with sufficient bandwidth (such as Gigabit networks) to interconnect the displays with other remotely located displays and supercomputers and metacomputing clusters.

TeraVision provides a hardware and software independent way to distribute high resolution content to collaborators. TeraVision is a real-time method to distribute visual imagery from any graphics platform over the Access Grid that requires no setup, software, or hardware changes to the user's computer. The goal is to provide one solution for what is commonly referred as the "Docking Problem or Display Pushing Problem" on the AccessGrid. That is, to provide ameans for anyone on the Access Grid to plug-in, for example their laptop, and to deliver a presentation without having to install or configure any software, or distribute any of the data files, in advance.

The Access Grid Augmented Virtual Environment (AGAVE)- which appends a passive stereoscopic display to an Access Grid to allow collaborators to share true three dimensional content such as engineering or scientifiic visualizations. The AGAVE will also work compatibly with existing high performance immersive visualization systems such as CAVEs and ImmersaDesks.

Access Grid - to - Go - allows traveling users to attend meetings from remote locations. Furthermore the video streaming capability allows scientists to monitor remote equipment or stream visualizations directly from immersive environments such as the CAVE.

VVP program developed for the PocketPC is a prototype of this technology.

Technologies to establish life-like meeting presence- in particular for the disabled who may find it difficult to attend meetings at remote locations. The AccessBot, a remotely deployable robot that uses a large 42 inch plasma screen in portrait mode, portrays remote collaborators in true life size- hence allowing them to command equal presence at meetings. Our experience with the AccessBot has shown that the presence of the remote participant comes through so strongly that the mechanical shell of the surrogate disappears entirely. We believe that by merging AccessBots with AccessGrids one could support deictic referencing that is completely missing in video conferencing but is essential for establishing common ground in real face to face meetings.

At the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, two Continuum spaces have been built to facilitate hardware and software development and human factors study to understand how teams will work in rooms that are wallpapered with seamless displays. Another one is also operational at the Technology Research Education and Commercialization Center (TRECC) in DuPage County, Illinois.




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Last Updated 11/1/2003