The i2CAT Foundation collaborates with Cisco to carry out research and development that will facilitate the transmission and processing of volumetric video in the cloud and thus enable the 3D holoconferences of the future. The project, which will last for one year, began in January and is led by the Center’s Media Internet research area.
The solution proposed by i2CAT consists in the creation of a virtualized component in the cloud that helps in the transmission and processing of volumetric video (known in the scientific field as “point clouds”), which will become a facilitating piece for immersive 3D conferences with multiple users. Thanks to this solution, the people who participate in these 3D holoconferences will be able to enjoy a much more real and immersive experience, while the systems behind them will work with a smaller information load and more fluidly. These benefits, in turn, will reduce the need for powerful communication networks and consumer devices, thus providing cost savings and maximizing audience reach.
Thanks to this innovative solution, the i2CAT Foundation takes a step forward towards the democratization of 3D holoconferencing, which will bring significant improvement to a variety of sectors and will impact a wide variety of daily activities for which the online experience does not yet match its in-person equivalent. Education, for example, will be one of these sectors. Possible use cases include the attendance of several groups and students to the same activity or class attendance for students who cannot move from their homes. Immersive technologies will also have a strong impact on the health sector, facilitating the assessment and care of patients remotely, expanding diagnostic capacity, and offering more protection to medical personnel in situations such as the current one, in which the examination of patients in person implies a strong risk of contagion.
For Cisco, the innovation in the proposal and the experience and excellence of i2CAT’s Media Internet area were key to awarding this grant. The Media Internet area has lead several pioneering virtual and immersive reality projects within the H2020 program by the European Commission, such as VRTogether or ImmersiaTV.
Cisco participates in the project through its Barcelona Co-Innovation Center, a space located in Ca l’Alier where innovation is promoted for a safer and more sustainable connected world through the definition, co-development, and creation of prototypes around digital transformation and the Internet of Things. The Center will play an important role in the monitoring and execution of the project, being the point of contact in Barcelona with the North American multinational.