Master's thesis

Last semester, we participated in a project where a mediated sketching table was built. It is basically a videoconferencing system that allows for online collaborative drawing with physical pen and paper. You can read about it here. The project was done as part of an EIT ICT Labs project called Mediating Presence; a collaboration between different technical universities in Europe aiming to develop new prototypes for telepresence systems. This thesis is sort of a continuation of that work, with professor Peter Parnes as supervisor.

Our hypothesis is that depth sensors, 3D scanning and virtual environments can be incorporated into videoconferencing to enhance the sense of presence and enable new ways to collaborate online. We believe that the ability to share 3D objects and convey body gestures can provide a more immersive experience than previously possible.

To investigate these possibilities, we’re making a videoconferencing system with face-to-face video chat that uses a secondary screen as a shared workspace. On it, two or more users will be able to collaborate on tasks involving manipulation of 3D objects using hand gestures.

We aim to make the system compatible with computers, tablets and smartphones. Users will get the most out of using it when they have access to a projector and a Kinect camera, but they’ll be able to participate without these components.

We presented a first version of our system in the EIT ICT workshop in Helsinki this April, and got a very good response. For more info on this project, read the project blog: