New Media Technologies: The European Perspective
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A flurry of new, exciting technologies is signalling the birth of a new medium, not yet completely understood, not yet fully imagined. lt may exactly fit your own personal needs, or it may simply be good old TV, broadcast to millions; it may be fully immersive, taking you through a bumpy ride on your active chair, or it may simply be a picture on a screen; it may challenge you with high levels of interactivity with audio-visual objects or it may simply give you the best high-definition, multi-channel entertainment you want to have; it may be indexed and easy to navigate or it might just surprise you with things you would have never expected. This new medium will also leverage the same tools to give you telepresence with family, friends and colleagues or allow you to experience places you would never dare or dream of going to. It will redefine group meetings and some levels of social interactions with the help of avatars, virtual humans and intelligent agents. The frontier between “story-telling”, as in current broadcasting, and “communication” will progressively blur, leaving us with a continuum of image-rich and flexible “infocommunication” services somewhere between plain old TV and multimodal telepresence. The foundations of these “New Media” technologies have been laid. ACTS and other EU programmes have played their role, helping to develop synergies across the continent. The new IST Programme will take up the “New Media” challenge and aim to catalyse the best of European research in the area. Its success will determine whether some of the most ambitious visions being dreamed up for the 21st century will become reality or not.
KeywordsDigital Medium European Perspective Laser Range Finder Virtual Human Video Telephony
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