An application for background awareness developed by Xerox. Using the Tas/ servers, it periodically (say once/minute) routes a user's camera to a frame grabber and "takes a snapshot" usually kept in low resolution. Periodically, subscribers to the portholes facility are sent an updated composite of snapshots (say once per 5 minutes) so that they are aware of who is in their office to give a sense of community. Pictures can be sent to subscribers at different sites, so that distributed awareness is possible.
Uses TAS/, uses a frame grabber in a Sun, and the Internet for transfer of images between sites. Written in C. Uses an X-client for the user interface.
This is a unique capability.
It is owned by Xerox. We are studying its usefulness and will have it operating between the Toronto and Ottawa Telepresence sites, and possible other sites. We will make modifications to improve its utility, if we decide that the idea has sufficient merit. It is experimental in nature.