Context Aware Networks for Sending Multiple Senses

CASMS is an EPSRC fun­ded col­lab­or­a­tion between Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Lon­don and Uni­ver­sity of Liv­er­pool to invest­ig­ate the require­ments of the next gen­er­a­tion of tele­com­mu­nic­a­tion net­works sup­port­ing dis­trib­uted and col­lab­or­at­ive vir­tu­al real­ity.

Challenges of Distributed VR

Inter­act­ive envir­on­ments work best when they provide fast and accur­ate feed­back, allow­ing users to feel as if they are inter­act­ing like they would in the real world.

Dis­trib­ut­ing inter­act­ive envir­on­ments over large dis­tances is chal­len­ging because the delays between com­puters under­mine the object­ive of mak­ing the whole sys­tem as respons­ive as pos­sible.

CASMS’ object­ives include to bet­ter under­stand what indi­vidu­als need to inter­act remotely, and how syn­chron­isa­tion algorithms inter­act with the latency and band­width of a net­work to enable, or frus­trate, this col­lab­or­a­tion.

CASMSCon­sensus Based Net­work­ing uses dis­trib­uted data fusion to syn­chron­ise two or more cop­ies of vir­tu­al worlds with peer-to-peer archi­tec­tures.

Network and Testbed

The CASMS test­bed includes the pro­vi­sion of a high-speed fiber between UCL and UoL enabling L3 con­nectiv­ity with high through­put and determ­in­ist­ic latency unavail­able on the pub­lic inter­net.

The test­bed is inten­ded to be access­ible to third-party users, allow­ing them to exper­i­ment with their tech­no­lo­gies and applic­a­tions in col­lab­or­a­tion with CASMS. Any­one who is inter­ested or would like to learn more is encour­aged to get in touch!

New Technologies

The next gen­er­a­tion of col­lab­or­at­ive vir­tu­al worlds will be ever more immers­ive, not just through improved visu­al and aud­it­ory per­form­ance, but through enabling inter­ac­tion through all five senses.

The CASMS pro­ject will exper­i­ment with and integ­rate new tech­no­lo­gies, includ­ing haptic and olfact­ory inter­faces. In this space CASMS will devel­op and improve hard­ware and algorithms for manip­u­lat­ing vir­tu­al worlds.

Haptics is an import­ant mod­al­ity for vir­tu­al worlds. CASMS uses state-of-the-art Dexmo gloves to cre­ate haptic worlds, and has developed new con­trol algorithms for high fidel­ity gloves like the Dexmo.

Key is under­stand­ing how a col­lab­or­at­ive sys­tem oper­ates as a whole, and where oppor­tun­it­ies lie for improve­ments with future tech­no­lo­gies such as 5G, being explored by part­ner pro­jects from the same call.

Phys­ic­ally believ­able worlds need users to exper­i­ence the same vir­tu­al space, but also time. The role of Edge Com­put­ing and options for Time Syn­chron­isa­tion are act­ive top­ics in CASMS, allow­ing net­works to be built of high and low power devices.

Outcomes

CASMS aims to add to the body of know­ledge around build­ing dis­trib­uted AR and VR. The top­ics addressed relate closely to video games, tele­con­fer­en­cing, col­lab­or­at­ive design, tele­op­er­a­tion and robot­ics.

Our applied research is dis­sem­in­ated through con­fer­ences, papers, code and col­lab­or­a­tions.

A primary object­ive of CASMS is to define the require­ments for future net­works neces­sary to bring the state-of-the-art worlds in the lab to the future home, office and smart­phone.