In an increasingly globalised world, communication across large distances is becoming more important. Whilst improvements in video-conferencing enhance our ability to communicate across distances, they don’t create an immersive experience to stimulate the types of interactions which facilitate positive emotions, and a sense of connection to people and place.
Social isolation is acutely felt by remote workers, and chronically experienced by older people who live alone or in aged-care facilities. Improving the interactivity of communication could improve well-being, and in doing so could reduce worker turnover and health care costs.
While it’s possible to improve the immersive nature of video-conferencing through the use of Virtual Reality (VR) devices, such devices tend to be large and cumbersome.
SharedMeals is a hands-free Mixed Reality conferencing platform for enhancing social interactions.
SharedMeals consists of users at different locations seated within a wrapped quarter sphere with the other user’s location projected on the sphere. Each person’s perception of
the opposing user is enhanced into a three-dimensional projection using specialised cameras that capture users from more than two dimensions.
SharedMeals removes the constraints of wearing headsets and allows for a more seamless integration with the environment, providing a more natural social setting.
This technology will also allow the development of shared spaces where physical objects can be passed from user to user using virtual mapping.
The technology can be used for virtual meal-sharing, virtual gaming, and telehealth. It has applications in any industry where remote workers are involved such as the mining,
engineering, technology and consulting sectors.
We are seeking research and codevelopment partners for further development of this opportunity.