“Be a research cluster of excellence in human-centred computing for visual and interactive applications that offers a complete environment for researching and developing the most creative, innovative, and technological solutions. We strive to translate these advances into value for society and sustainable growth.”
Description of Synergy
In recent years, we have seen a tremendous increase of visual information being delivered to corporate and consumer markets via fixed and mobile networks. A variety of human-machine interfaces are adopted to visualize these data providing immersive experiences and new ways on realistic, engaging, and satisfying collaboration.
The wide range of visual applications stretches over many vertical-specific industries such as computer games, virtual reality (VR), infotainment systems, connected vehicles, smart production, virtual heritage, social networks, assisted shopping and many others. Interaction is facilitated by computer consoles, mobile devices, high-resolution displays, stereoscopic displays, VR headsets to mention only a few.
ViaTecH, as synergy project, strives for advancements of these visual and interactive application (VIAs) to achieve both sustainable quality and enhanced immersive experiences, by incorporating a strong human-centred computing (HCC) component into the development of VIAs. This approach considers users and industries as being peers in an overall human-centred system to reach full potential of benefits for society.
ViaTecH project considers a complete human-centred system consisting of humans, human-machine interfaces, and networked computers with the goal to advance VIAs in terms of sustainable quality and immersive experiences as well as to facilitate intuitive interactions. The core question of the ViaTecH project is therefore posed as follows:
“How can human-centred computing advance novel visual and interactive applications in order to offer sustainable quality and enhance immersive experiences?”
Three different sub-projects collaborate with each other as well as with the core project to answer this question and achieve the main goal.
The sub-projects contribute to the core project with their particular methods, quality, models and metrics, databases, and HCC techniques to achieve a joint pool of solutions and to support a showcase called ViaShow. In addition, the sub-projects cooperate by exchanging insights and methods to reveal their interworking and impact on each other’s methods and results.
The core project distributes to the sub-projects the synergetic insights from pooling the individual approaches, their dependencies and impact on joint overall experience and advancements allowing for refinement and iterations towards a joint solution. The following figure illustrates the synergy structure and the relationships among core and sub-projects.
Sub-Project 1 (SP1): Fundamentals of Quality Assessment for HCC in Novel VIAs
How can the quality of novel VIAs as perceived by humans be modelled and quantified such that it can be used by HCC to advance immersive experiences?
Sub-project 1 is focusing on the fundamental visual perception mechanisms that contribute to quality and immersion as perceived by humans with focus on spatial artefacts. The aim is to develop quality models based on visual perception and provide objective perception-based metrics that quantify the quality and immersion as perceived by humans, as well as an experimental framework for metrics evaluation. This will allow the other sub-projects to assess the advancements obtained by engaging HCC in VIAs at the human-machine interface and networked environments.
Sub-Project 2 (SP2): Perception-Based HCC for VIAs at the Human-Machine Interface
How can human-centred computing be used at the human-machine interface to develop efficient, high quality, and immersive video games and virtual reality applications?
The target of sub-project 2 is intuitive interaction. This sub-project is dedicated to the study of perceptually-motivated HCC algorithms to enhance user experience and quality of interactive applications. Given the advances in eye-tracking technology and biosensors, innovative psychophysiologically-based solutions are feasible and needed in next generations of game and VR applications. Perception shall be exploited to develop efficient solutions for real-time game and VR rendering techniques whilst maintaining a high perceptually quality result. A further interest is the study of novel visualisation tools in 3D environments and for 2D video.
Sub-Project 3 (SP3): Networked VIAs and QoE
How can underlying network resources support and advance visual and interactive applications in order to ensure sustainable QoE?
Sub-project 3 is focusing on seamless connectivity. It deals with the temporal impacts induced by networks to VIAs and how to explore HCC for Quality of Experience (QoE) advancements in networked settings. This is needed as VIAs are increasingly operated in networked systems, where network resources play key roles when it comes to provisioning exceptional QoE. Temporal QoE artefacts need to be properly understood to be able to specify the requirements that VIAs put on network resources and to advance the interworking of both, in order to enable successfully and “synergetically” designed VIAs in terms of QoE.