Tangible Video Communication 1
Date of Issue2016
School of Computer Engineering
Tangible virtual communication provides a touch sensor in conventional audio and visual communication methods to make humans communicate in a more immersive environment. Currently, 3D and Virtual Reality technologies are widely used in entertainment and construction areas. The solid idea of this project is to provide a tangible channel for virtual communication. This project aims to identify the methods that can actualize this purpose by using haptic devices, and research on how an independent tangible channel can be established and used along with existing video communication applications. To commence this project, research was conducted to get an in-depth understanding of both hardware and software elements of communication technologies. Specifically, we studied the different technological specifications of various haptic devices, along with their corresponding Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for development. For research purposes, we used Novint Falcon haptic device in this project due to its cheaper price. The key parts in the development phase are (1) establishing a network connection and (2) generating an efficient haptic rendering algorithm. (1) is used to solve the task of data transmission, while (2) is used to compute feedback force applied to haptic devices. The entire project is developed as a Server-Client application – this app runs on two PCs connected via TCP/IP protocol to allow for the exchange of data packages. Meanwhile, the haptic rendering process runs in a separate thread, dealing with the received data packets for feedback force. These steps will enable the programs to run correctly with TCP/IP connection on the server’s and client’s sides. For example, data package containing haptic device coordinates and feedback force vectors, can be exchanged between server and client. The resulting two-way connection enables users on both sides to feel the movement that the other party is enacting whenever he/she uses the haptic device. This will make communication more immersive and engaging as people can greet each other by shaking hands in a virtual environment. The report includes the details of the project development and user studies to identify areas of improvement, and proposes future plans to improve this project.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University