The summer has been a busy one for Telepresence researchers. This newsletter will give brief summaries of activities by various groups and persons.
1. THE OTTAWA ENGINEERING GROUP:
- a voice mail system has been partially built which makes use of the voice server and the internet to collect and distribute voice mail throughout telepresence. This system can be used from either a telephone, or using a workstation's audio devices. Currently there is no Mac client, though any MIME aware mail reader can be used.
- an asynchronous codec server has be developed that can notify applications of codec activity (i.e. incoming call). So now workstations can 'ring' whenever there is an unexpected incoming call.
- the Portholes background awareness application (from Xerox) was made to work with our iiif server. It was also modified to work better on typical workstation (such as a MacLC).
- a video mail system was developed for the Macs. This allows users within a site to send each other video clips. It has finished preliminary testing and is now undergoing some usability changes before being distributed.
- work is continuing on changes to the Telepresence Application Server which allow it to talk to several IIIF servers. In future, this will enable inter-site calls to be made as easily as intra-site calls.
- Telepresence is looking at MCS software from WorldLinx Technologies in Toronto for possibly porting it into the Unix system.
- Chris Passier entered in the Canadian Ironman, in British Colombia. Suffice to say that we have someone in our midst who has dared to swim 3.8k, bike 180k, then run a marathon (41k), all at once, in 13 hours. Congratulations, Chris!
2. TORONTO RESEARCH GROUP
- the DAN (Desk Area Network) was developed for controlling an A/V switch in a person's office. DAN will be merged with some work being done by one of Dick Dillon's students at Carleton University.
- a calendar manager was developed to manage bookings for the codec and the demo room
- a door state system is now operative which allows a user's electronic door and physical door to be one. The state of the physical door is sensed to be either open, ajar or closed. The door sensing software determines the physical door state and changes the door on the iiif interface to be the same. This system is currently deployed in one office.
- second version of software for the Indigo trial was released in July. This interface allows multiparty videoconferencing.
- call management as a part of the functionality of the iiif server was also released into production in July.
- the business evaluation of the Indigo field study has been completed.
- an awareness study of the Indigo field study is in process.
- the social sciences bibliography is completed with papers available at the Telepresence office. This collection of 144 references focuses upon social communication or organizational aspects of the adoption of technology. The bibliography features keyword access and is available electronically. For more information please contact Gale Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- the Indigo field study is due for completion at the end of October.
- a word of thanks is extended to the summer students: Tom Bellman, Andrea Leganchuk, Michael Ianni-Palarchio, Susan Sim and Christine Sue-Chan for their energetic efforts and contributions to the Project.
3. TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS:
July 13.93 Comdex, Toronto: "Directions in Workgroup Computing," Bill Buxton, Marilyn Mantei & Ron Riesenbach.
July 21.93 BNR, Ottawa: "From TeamWorkStation to ClearBoard," Hiroshi Ishii.
August 2.93 University of California, Irvine: "Seamless Collaboration Media Design," (Host: Prof. Jonathan Grudin)
August 5.93 SIGGRAPH'93, Anaheim, CA: Panel on "Ubiquitous Computing and Augmented Reality" Panel with Bill Buxton, Steve Feiner, Chris Schmandt, Mark Weiser, Pierre Wellner.
August 9-12.93 Groupware'93, San Jose, CA: Talk on Telepresence by Marilyn Mantei. Marilyn also gave talks at BayCHI in California and IBM France.
August 19.93 INET'93, San Francisco, CA: invited talk "Toward Seamless Collaboration Media," Hiroshi Ishii. (organized by INTERNET society)
August 20.93 Interval Research Corporation, Palo Alto, CA: "Seamless Collaboration Media Design," Hiroshi Ishii. (Host: Dr. Bill Verplank)
September 2.93 University of Calgary: "ClearBoard and Its Future," Hiroshi Ishii.
4. VISITORS TO THE PROJECT:
June 28.93 Peter Gabriel, Real World, Box, UK.
July 9.93 Kenneth Aalders, Director, Technology Development, Object Technology International, Ottawa.
July 12-23.93 Paul van Schaik, visiting researcher from University of Twente, The Netherlands.
July 19 - Sept. 17.93 Luca Giachino, visiting researcher from CEFRIEL, Milan, Italy.
August 9.93 Prof. Hajime Ohiwa, Keio University, Japan.
August 23.93 Herman Hauser, Co-Chairman & Martin Jackson, V.P. Technology, EO Inc., Mountainview, CA.
August 24.93 B.K. Bhaneja, Dept. of External Affairs, Government of Canada, Ottawa.
August 24.93 Rob Burgess, President & CEO, Alias Research, Inc. Toronto, Ontario.
5. UPCOMING EVENTS
September 12-17.93 CBTA/Telecon in Montreal, Quebec.
September 13-17.93 ECSCW'93 in Milan, Italy.
November 3-5.93 UIST'93 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Congratulations to Michel Beaudouin-Lafon and Wendy Mackay on their August beach-binding vows!
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