January 1st, 1998 - January 1st, 2000
Studies are being conducted involving a cooperative tele-operation task in which two remote participants in CAVEs work together to manipulate shared virtual objects.
The goal is to understand how collaborative coordination is affected by differing levels of network latency and jitter, so that in the future the kinds of tasks possible over networks of particular characteristics, can be predicted.
These experiments have been performed within a local-area network and more recently over a trans-oceanic high speed network (STARTAP℠ / SingAREN) between EVL in Chicago, and Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore. The results of the controlled LAN experiments were used to make predictions of the performance of the collaborators in the SingAREN link.
The results overall showed that jitter had a more significant impact on coordination than latency. When the network was jittery, latencies would vary unpredictably. This manifested as sudden jumps in the motion of objects in the virtual environment making it difficult for participants to reasonable predict their trajectory.
Work is continuing to prescribe a test suite for Tele-Immersion that can be deployed at various collaborating sites around the world to allow comparisons of the underlying networks to be made.