Although there have been significant previous attempts at ‘collaborative virtual environments’, BEAMING is fundamentally different in its conception. Here we aim to have people virtually transporting themselves to a remote physical location and interacting with real people or life-sized real-time accurate representations of the people there, and if required, be physically there through a teleoperated physical and mobile body
BEAMING will demonstrate a further advance in the utilisation of the internet for social gatherings – beyond both virtual worlds and games, beyond video conferencing and traditional methods for computer supportive co-operative work. Unlike all of these the primary focus of ‘beaming’ is the physical body of the visitor. In its most full realisation (the one aimed for in this project) BEAMING brings physical consequences to interaction between remotely located people, the visitors (the people who beam) become embodied in the destination.
The project will initiate the most ambitious yet telepresence research to date. Its nature is highly synergic with current views on sustainable human connectivity. As such, it should impact road-mapping activities of funding agencies.
BEAMING will have a societal impact beyond those mentioned in the work programme, through a built-in consideration of the legal and ethical implications of virtual transportation of individual people.