Increasingly staged by technology, we might as well take up the challenge to form and inhabit this new terrain and to facilitate transitions between physical, augmented and virtual realities. Here is a narrative for such a task and a technology to help make it happen.
The Posture Platform for immersive telepresence is composed of Posture Net, a server-client architecture connecting a number of Posture Bases used as points of entry. From within a base, participants use Posture Pad, a free iPhone application, to navigate in virtual terrains such as You are here. A 360° video of each participants is captured, multicasted to all bases, and displayed to match the participants virtual position and orientation in real-time. Ambient sound is created by speakers integrated to the immersive screen and open headsets are used for voice.
In Posture, terrains are created as contexts for exploration, encounters and interaction. The initial terrain You are here invites participants to play with scale. Scale x1 blends the physical reality with its exact virtual representation allowing participants to seamlessly enter and exit a Posture Bases physically or virtually. Scale x2 takes participants into imagined or documented remote landscapes. Scale x3 morphs landscapes into a humanscape formed with portraits of registered participants. Scale x4 opens a participant’s personal archive.
In You are here, as in any other terrains in the Posture platform, encounters with other participants in distant Posture Bases can happen anywhere and at any moment. As in the physical space, participants are first seen from a distance and approach decisions and strategies have to be mutually decided and executed to create a face-to-face encounter. In a narrative characteristic of the increasing fluidity between folds of the real, a number of friends or colleagues could decide on a rendez-vous at a certain time and place within a Posture terrain and then individually reach for a nearby Posture Base to spend time together.
The use of a personal devices such as the iPhone to navigate, touch and manipulate in You are here further affirms fluidity between mediums and uses in our daily lives. When launched, the Posture Pad application automatically connects the participant’s iPhone to the nearby Posture Base and fully empowers its user in the Posture platform. As of March 2010, there are five Posture Bases offering access to You are here.
The posture platform for immersive telepresence, and the You are here experience have been imagined and created by Luc Courchesne in collaboration with the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) and with support from Université de Montréal, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).
Credits titles for the Posture Platform and for You are here:
Concept, design, scenario, direction, production, photography, soundscape: Luc COURCHESNE
System architecture (SPIN): Mike WOZNIEWSKI
Network administration and programming team coordination: Simon PIETTE
Camera array development: Daniel LABONTÉ
Video capture and streaming (Milhouse): Tristan MATHEWS
3D audio authoring software: Zack SETTTEL
Additional programming: Gideon MAY, Alexandre QUESSY
iPhone development and web design: Samuel VERMETTE
3D modelisation David DUGUAY
Assistance and coordination: Audrey DESJARDINS
Philosopher in residence: Christoph BRUNNER
Designer in residence: Marilyn TEUWEN
Project created in collaboration with the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) with support from Université de Montréal, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).
Thanks to Monique SAVOIE, Ghyslain BOILEAU, Brian MASSUMI and Philippe DUBÉ.
Credits titles for the Panoscope 360°
Concept, design, prototyping, production: Luc COURCHESNE
Additional design and fabrication: Sébastien DALLAIRE/ SAT
Immersive viewer, authoring process and handheld controller: Gideon MAY
Lens design: Simon THIBAUT / Immervision
Projector: Projection design