Research @ Intel, Mountain View, California.
How is it possible to work simpler and more efficient in the future? This is a questions Intel researcher Paul Lalonde’s team deals with. As one way to get there they developed software that simplifies video conferencing and makes it more spontaneous.
For companies with employees at diverse locations video conferencing is an ideal team collaboration tool that saves time and travel budget. Today’s conferencing systems need a set up per video conference. Intel researchers have found a way to develop a video conferencing system that doesn't require a set-up in being "always-on" and so could easily be used for spontaneous video conferences. The idea is quite simple: If both contacts look into the camera the conference is established. If they ignore the camera the picture becomes blurred, the audio interrupts and the conference pauses or ends.
With Intel being a leading company in development and implementation of industry standards it was a clear goal for the researchers around Lalonde to use exactly those standards. The video conferencing software doesn’t require camera calibration and uses existing video standards. Furthermore the software works with today’s cameras and operating systems.
A person who does not pay attention to the video conferencing system is just blurred (left picture). The right picture shows the video's depth information including the head of a conference attendee who looks away (white cross).