NTT DoCoMo Develops Hands-free Videophone System

October 15th, 2012 at 5:43 pm

People still consider audio phone calls as the primary means of communication. One reason why this is still the norm is because it still is the more convenient way available. The popularity of making handsfree calls even make them even more convenient. But in the near future, video calls would someday catch on with technology that will enable it to be a handsfree option as well, just like the Handsfree Videophone concept that NTT DoCoMo is currently developing.

The Handsfree Videophone was recently introduced by NTT DoCoMo of Japan at CEATEC 2012. It is a head mounted display that allows a video rendering of a person’s face and presents it as a pre-rendered 3D model in a screen. What it offers to do is to allow people to make calls with a video rendering of a caller without having the need to hold a camera over his or her face. The head mounted display does that using three cameras with 720p resolution.  There is one camera each fitted into the left and right side of the wearable frames and a fish eye lens camera that takes a 180 degree field of view. Currently the Handsfree Videophone display shows the face as a bit distorted since the fish eye lens is too close to the face. The HD image currently developed is focusing on the parts of the eyes to give a more realistic view. Parts of the mouth and the upper body parts are still made in CG since current resolution has not yet been able to process everything in real time. But what the developed system does is provide a way to present a wearer of the head mounted display as if a virtual camera is placed in front of his or her face. Researchers say that they will be further developing the technology. The current prototype is not yet that capable of providing the effect of taking the whole face of a person and constructing a 3D rendering in real time. But the researchers may someday be getting there, even possibly increasing resolution to 4K or 8K in order to make it possible to increase the amount of actual video used.

Image Source: DigInfo


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