February 22/23 2010, Barcelona
Beaming, an european project to develop virtual transport
Beaming, a four year collaborative project to develop science and technology to give people a real sense of physically being in a remote location with other people without actually physically travelling, held today its first Plenary Meeting in Barcelona (Spain) hosted by the University of Barcelona and the project coordinator – the R+D company Starlab. The project, which started on January 1st, is financially supported by the Seventh Framework Programme for Research of the European Commission and will be carried out by a consortium of 11 leading technology R+D and neuroscience groups and companies coming from seven countries in Europe. The budget for Beaming, a four year project, is over 12 Million €.
Today, in spite of advanced video conferencing, shared virtual environments, and gaming environments such as Second Life, it is still simply much more efficient to physically travel to remote location for business, scientific or family meetings—even if at a huge environmental, energetic and opportunity cost. Beaming will address this challenge developing a new kind of virtual transportation, where the person can be physically embodied interacting with life-sized people who may be thousands of kilometers away. This will be achieved through shifting their means for perception into the destination, and decomposing their actions, physiological and even emotional state into a stream of data that will be transferred across the internet.
Beaming will bring today’s networking, computer vision, computer graphics, virtual reality, haptics, robotics and user interface technology together in a way that has never been tried before thereby transcending what is possible today. This will be underpinned by the practical utilization of recent advances in cognitive neuroscience in understanding the process whereby the brain represents our own body. Simultaneous streams of data from the destination site to the visitor’s perceptual apparatus, and from the actions and state of the visitor to the destination site, will cohere together to form a unified virtual environment representing the physical space of the destination in real-time – a destination that will include the beamed people. Beaming will endow this process with physicality.
The Beaming consortium: