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Inspired by Wii, professors create a virtual dance space

TEEVE system allows for computer images to create a fully immersive experience. Shades of the Holodeck?
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Thanks to the invention of two computer science professors from the University of Illinois and the University of California at Berkeley, there's a new high-tech way for artists to collaborate even if they are thousands of miles apart—3-D video, reports Campus Technology

A choreographer and the computer science professors were inspired by the popular Nintendo game console Wii, which uses wireless technology and 3-D software to render live movements on video, so that dancer Renata Sheppard and Berkeley dance professor Lisa Wymore performed in a virtual space that existed only on big screens at the UI and Berkeley – and on smaller screens via a webcast.

The Tele-immersive Environments for EVErybody, or TEEVE, was developed to experiment with tele-collaborations in the area of physical therapy and assembling structures. The performance was a test of an immersive 3-D video conferencing system developed by UI computer science professor Klara Nahrstedt and Berkeley professor Ruzena Bajcsy.

TEEVE captures images using 3-D camera clusters and distributes them over Internet2, compressing and decompressing the 3-D video streams, rendering them into immersive video, and displaying them on one or multiple large screens.

"TEEVE is a great technology because it allows for more cost-effective cyberspace communication of people in their full body size," Nahrstedt said. "This system is especially suited for learning new activities, training, and meeting in cyberspace if a physical activity is to be performed."

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