Welcome to Virtual-Presence.org
This page is dedicated to virtual presence and web awareness.
The Web is a Virtual Space
There are millions of users, browsing the same pages at the same time.
Virtual presence makes people visible on Web pages.
A Web of Virtual Places
The Web is not just a collection of linked documents. The Web is a virtual space of millions of virtual places. Each Web site is a virtual place. When we surf the Web, we use the location metaphor and much less the document metaphor. We go to a Web site rather than opening a hypertext document. While we are there at a virtual location, there are other people present at the same location at the same time. They are also jumping from page to page, and reading the same content.
Virtual presence shows people who are at the same Web site at the same time. Once they see each other, they can communicate by chat, voice and video. Virtual presence is an enabling concept for synchronous interaction on the Web. In the real world we are used to see people wherever we go. We see them on the street, in shops, and in public spaces. We usually ignore people and just pass by. But sometimes we communicate, e.g. if we meet a friend. In shops we ask the sales person and occasionally we even talk to strangers about a common topic.
Virtual presence transfers the behavior from the real world to the virtual space. It enables communication. In shops where a sales person can talk to customers. On home pages and blogs where authors can meet their readers. On community sites where members can see avatars of other members. People can meet each other by chance on any page. Distributed workgroups meet at groupware pages, virtual classrooms on the lecture page.
Virtual Presence Column
At a PRESENCE conference I recently saw an impressive demonstration of a facial feature tracking system. The software extracted movements of facial features from a webcam stream and animated a comic character, which did the same head movements as the person in front of the camera.
At the same time Oki and Logitech are starting to promote their facial emotion recognition systems. It seems the time has come for facial feature tracking applications.
I would love to animate the face of a virtual presence avatar on a Web page by facial feature tracking. People would meet even more life, more real and more immersive.
Here are 3 developments merging into one:
1. Game character profiles of MMOG players are increasingly available on the Web. Some are provided by the game publisher, some by community sites.
2. For all MMOGs there are tools, which render game characters. Some publishers provide these, if not, then 3rd parties jump in and hack up tools.
3. In virtual presence people can be represented by animated avatars on Web pages.
If we combine these 3, then we get animated game characters based on real MMOG character profiles on Web pages. A great way for players to use their avatar beyond the game world.
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