The Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), is one of the largest research centres in Greece. It was founded in 2000 and is located in Thessaloniki, Greece. The mission of CERTH is to promote the triplet Research – Development – Innovation by conducting high quality scientific research and developing innovative products and services while building strong partnerships with industry and strong collaborations with research centres and universities in Greece and abroad.

The Information Technologies Institute (ITI) – formerly known as Informatics and Telematics Institute – which will be directly involved in this project, is one of the leading Research Institutes of Greece in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). It was founded in 1998 and since 10.3.2000 it is a founding member of CERTH. CERTHITI is located in Thessaloniki, Greece and its current Director is Dr. Dimitrios Tzovaras. CERTH-ITI is achieving scientific excellence in at least the following research areas: Human Computer Interaction, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning, Image and Signal Processing, Computer & Cognitive Vision, Social Media Analysis, and Networks and Communications.

The institute is very active in applied research in the following sectors: Environment Monitoring, Geosciences and Remote Sensing, Bioinformatics/Biomedicine, Security and Surveillance, Cultural and Educational Technology. Finally, CERTH-ITI has important scientific and technological achievements in other areas including: Multimedia, Databases and Information Systems, e-Government, Integrated Commercial Solutions, as well as several cross-disciplinary scientific areas.

CERTH-ITI is a research institute with significant experience coming out of its participation in, and in many cases coordination of, numerous European and national R&D projects and activities funded both by public and private funds. The institute has participated in more than 130 EU/EC funded research projects (through FP5 to H2020) – having coordinated many of them – and more than 80 research or other (e.g. consulting subcontracts) projects funded by the Greek government or the private sector.

The Visual Computing Lab (VCL,) is one of the laboratories of CERTH-ITI. With 2 full-time seniorresearchers and 52 full-time research associates, VCL’s mission is to discover new understanding in multimedia and vision systems technology and to spread excellence through outreach. VCL enjoys a distinguished reputation for innovation, receiving direct funding from private national and international companies and the EU. The group has participated in, and coordinated several EU funded projects relevant to VRTogether, including the FP7 projects 3DLife, REVERIE, 3D-Live and RePlay.

Role in the project

CERTH is one of the key technical partners in the VRTogether consortium, leading a number of technical tasks of the project’s WP3. CERTH aims to deploy and expand upon its expertise in tele-immersive technologies gained from previous projects (REVERIE, 3D-LIVE), mainly focusing on real-time on-line 3D capturing and reconstruction of moving humans using multiple RGB-D sensors (i.e. Kinect/Kinect2). CERTH will provide tele-immersive solutions to VRTogether, including a scalable capturing & reconstruction platform with support for up to 5 simultaneously connected Kinect devices, contribute towards real-time 3D reconstructed time-varying mesh compression and transmission over remote network nodes, 3D video off-line performance capturing of real actors used for highly realistic, real-time virtual human activity rendering as well as off-line 3D reconstruction of static indoor/outdoor scenes from multiple uncalibrated images.

Furthermore, CERTH will contribute in directing game-based interaction with 3D reconstructed actor characters, and web-based rendering solutions through expertise with standard JavaScript 3D engines such as Three.js.