In VRTogether, three pilots have been planned to evaluate its creative and technological contributions towards the creation of truly realistic and interactive social VR experiences.
After a successful pilot 1 in the first year of the project, the execution of pilot 2 started in November 2019 with a first round of tests at the i2CAT lab in Barcelona. The pilot activities were divided into two related experiments.
Evolved Pilot 1 Scenario
On the one hand, the pilot 1 content was again showcased to pairs of users, but including two key evolved technological aspects from the previously conducted tests in the first year:
1) the orchestrator for session and stream management, located in France;
2) the evolved version of the Time Varying Meshes (TVM) based end-users’ representation pipeline, with the use of the Intel RealSense (instead of Kinnect) sensors, and an improved performance in term of frame rates and latency.
A demo video about the i2CAT lab and the pilot 1 experience can be watched here.
Pilot 2 Scenario Variants
On the other hand, the pilot 2 experience was also showcased to pair of users. Apart from the mentioned evolved features, the pilot 2 includes four main novelties:
1) presence of a live video-based presenter from a chroma key;
2) interaction channels with the live presenter;
3) interactive presentation of media assets, triggered from a control room (or by the presenter by using a remote); and
4) support for more than two users.
An initial round of tests were performed with a recorded version of the presenter (professional actor) to validate the involved technological components and the created virtual scenario.
A new round of tests was then followed by including a live broadcasted presenter from a chroma key room located in a different level of the same building in which the i2CAT lab is placed. This pilot 2 demo was also experienced by the review panel in the yearly review of the project, held in Barcelona a week later.
In the last week of February, the pilot 2 tests will be continued. The objectives are: to enlarge the sample of participants; to also measure objective metrics (in terms of performance and users’ activity); and to test further aspects, like the participation of more than two participants from different countries.
This project has been funded by the European Commission as part of the H2020 program, under the grant agreement 762111.