1.1 Virtual Telepresence
In the time of ours, media society, can we turn the aspects that are integrated in our lives and making us to alienate from the society and ourselves, to a potential to getting closer to each other and shaping a social interaction in an electronic environment, in an effective and attractive way? There is a 3-dimensional, virtual, permanently growing net, clearly shaped. Every participant of the net, surfer and so on, gets lost in this limitless net. This is a project about finding, creating some meeting places, virtually. It’s neither about matters nor about concepts. It’s about how they are combining. Through the internet the net-users can visit each other in their rooms, houses, classes, offices, in a virtual place, in nowhere, in everywhere. For business, for politics, for Action, privately, for meeting, chatting, just for fun- whatever they want for… This is an argument that the Internet is a social and emotional technology, and that it sustains social networks.
The physical body of the internet generates possibilities and aspirations which become manifest in the software that is developed for it. Programs such as talk, irc or mud contain elements of immediate communication, whereas e-mail, news and, in a further sense, even information systems like gopher contain elements of a time-shifted communication. Our communication requirements and the existing communication technologies (phone, fax, printmedia, tv, radio, cb-radio, …)find their counterpart in the virtual world of the internet. The real world finds its projection in the virtual world. At the moment we are in a boom phase of virtual architecture. Especially regarding hypertext-based and, more generally, surface-based software and their applications, we are in the middle of a very fast growing global city. Here we also discover mainly projections of our real environment. In contrast to hitherto existing communication technologies we can create our individual living space in this environment. We are able to live a virtual life – the medium has become habitable. How do our virtual living experiences interact with our real life, or should we assume at all that there is a distinction between the virtual and real worlds? How will people with a virtual history and those who do not look back on a virtual life experience communicate in the future? How do communication structures in the internet – conceptual structures which are implicit in the medium – influence our virtual social habits? From the start artists for example have used videotechnology for self reflection . Can those processes also be found in the internet? How couldthe state of participators in an irc be described? Is there not a permanent shift between self- and social(group) consciousness? Social processes in these groups are not influenced by outer appearance but by means of pure contents. Roles can be changed – experiments with individual habits become possible which in our real environment cannot be experienced in such a short time. Navigation systems (conventional or as personal agents or knowbots) become more necessary as information grows faster and faster.Bearing in mind the world wide distribution and the cultural and structural national differences of the internet one has to ask how the distance between economically strong and weaker regions can be caught up.
Avatars, WWW, voice, 3D, virtual environments, virtual worlds, group communications, Agents Autonomy, Art, Artificial Arts/Concepts, Association, Collaboration the Community, Collective Intelligence, Identity, Interaction, Models Realities Mixed, Numerical, Sciences, Social, Structure, Symbolic System, Virtual, Virtuality, Combination
2.1 Web As A Social Paradigm
The growing popularity of the web and the increasing familiarity of web-based communication is a major new social phenomenon. Beyond the more visible effects that the web is having on patterns of work, community structures, and personal interactions, a significant shift is occurring in the way communication is being used (Geelhaar, 1995). This change will have profound and lasting effects on language and communication.
The Internet opens new options for communication that may challenge our understanding of how communication shapes social relationships. Despite the newness and excitement surrounding the World Wide Web, the killer application on the Internet is still interpersonal communication. Electronic mail use is more popular than use of the Web, more stable, and drives greater and more lasting use of the Internet overall. One reason is that email sustains ongoing dialogues and relationships (Curry, 2000).
How people are using the Internet and what kind of individual differences play a role? A major reason for some changes over time is that the Internet, the purposes for which it is used, and norms surrounding use are co-evolving (Social presence with video and application sharing, 2001).The Internet of today is not the Internet of 1996, and the Internet of tomorrow will not be the Internet of today. For example, the nature of electronic mail changes as more friends and family go online and as more companies send unsolicited advertisements. As these changes take place, people will find new ways to use this technology, and its social impact will change once again.
“The more hours people use the Internet, the less time they spend with real human beings,” said Stanford Professor Norman Nie, director of SIQSS and principal investigator of the study along with his co-investigator Professor Lutz Erbring of the Free University of Berlin. “This is an early trend that, as a society, we really need to monitor carefully.” Time spent on the net also grows with the number of years a person has been connected.
Within social networks, relationships are “enacted.” They grow or decline through communication and the exchange of social resources. Although geographic distance can inhibit enactment, telecommunication technologies (e.g., phone, email, IM) are increasingly being used to maintain relationships over long distances (web-speech, 2002). Our habits are clearly changing through the increasing usage of internet, obviously a huge data sharing but at the same time a huge problem that we are getting lonelier day by day. We don’t need to leave home for any reason. We can order food through internet, shop, watch movies, listen to music, and chat with friends visually, just sitting in front of the screen. In the “Homenet Project” by the National Science Foundation, it is claimed that; Internet for most people, may have both negative and positive social consequences (The Internet and Social Relationships, 2004).
· Greater use of the Internet is associated with declines in the size of participants’ social networks, declines in communication within the family and, for teenagers, declines in social support.
· Greater use of the Internet is associated with increases in loneliness and symptoms of depression.
· These declines are especially strong during the first years online, but may drop or even reverse with time or as the services available on the Internet improve.
However, the effects of the Internet depend on the specific ways it is used. Across multiple surveys, the following uses of the Internet consistently emerge:
· Communication with friends and family
· Communication with relative strangers, to meet new people
· Gathering practical information about work, school and current events
· Commercial transactions
People maintain only a limited number of personal relationships. Researchers estimate that people typically keep ten to twenty important relationships, out of the approximately 1,000 individuals whom they interact with or can identify (Communication technology and friendship, in press).
This project aims to experience any kind of space in an interactive way, without occurring there physically, but being projected there concurrently. The environment can be any kind of space, it may be an existing space also but, here I tried a virtual space. Virtual environments are interesting such as classical concepts of geometry or weight are not necessary. In a virtual world, we are inside an environment of pure information that we can see, hear, and touch. The technology itself is invisible, and carefully adapted to human activity so that we can behave naturally in this artificial world. We can create any imaginable environment and we can experience entirely new perspectives and capabilities within it. A virtual world can be informative, useful, and fun.
We can create and enter cyberspace in localized virtual worlds of video, computer graphics and sound. These interactive environments now run independently, but the goal is to connect them into a networked cyberspace matrix. We can interact with the existing matrix of computerized communications using text and two-dimensional graphics. When we add the capabilities of three-dimensional graphics, we both increase the information density and allow more accurate understanding of what we see. Multi-sensory interaction adds additional layers of perception and meaning to our experience (No interface to design, 2007).
Adolescents in the United States frequently use instant messaging programs, because doing so allows them to connect to friends in a way no other communication technology does at present: they can have a private one-to-one real-time conversation with a friend and, at the same time, ‘hang out’ with many friends and feel part of a group. Thus instant messaging satisfies two major needs in adolescent identity formation—maintaining individual friendships and belonging to peer groups (Teenage communication in the instant messaging, in press).
The media tools we use in our daily lives; as mobile phone, internet and all types of internet communication services, are rapidly integrating into our lives with all the ambience they are involving, that we don’t have even time or right to alienate this system. The applications that are indispensable in our daily life today as; multiple live message/ chatting services, the services that provides worldwide up-to-date satellite images, video, photography, visual arts, research sharing/ blog sites, are expanding the data sharing with an enormous increasing acceleration. On the other hand our feelings are clearly finding a place for themselves in this huge data bank net.
This project is a game, purposes to make people set amusing relationships with each other, as a result of virtual space transforming into a daily experience or real space. In the United States, instant messaging has proved one of the most popular applications of the Internet, inducing people to want to stay connected to the Internet for extended amounts of time to be available for conversation (Pew Internet Project Report, 2001a). In other words, the advantage of the project is being real-time and live.
The physical body of the internet generates possibilities in the software that is developed for it. Programs such as msn and irc contain elements of immediate communication, whereas e-mail contains elements of a time-shifted communication. Our communication requirements and the existing communication technologies (phone, fax, print media, TV, radio…) find their counterpart in the virtual world of the internet. The real world finds its projection in the virtual world.
Here we also discover mainly projections of our real environment. In contrast to existing communication technologies we can create our individual living space in this environment. We are able to live a virtual life. How do our virtual lives experiences interact with our real life, or should we assume at all that there is a distinction between the virtual and real worlds? One can cross-over to the virtual setting and continue a relationship or have an experience that is unique to itself, and not contained or limited by physical circumstance. I am physically present in one reality, but have a relationship in the virtual reality that can be sustained. I can live there for periods, and believe and feel its reality.
In Duck’s analogy (1998), friendships need a regular investment of effort; otherwise, normal centripetal forces cause the friendship to come apart. In this view, people develop and maintain particular relationships by enacting them, i.e., by carrying them out through regular exchanges of communication or social support (Duck, 1998). Physical proximity is conducive to the growth and maintenance of personal relationships, whereas physical distance leads to their dissolution. In part, this is because proximity decreases the behavioural costs of communication between people and hence increases its frequency, while distance increases the costs and decreases the frequency. Proximity not only increases the frequency of communication, but also shifts the types of interactions between individuals. For instance, even if distant friends communicate frequently by phone and e-mail, the distance itself make it difficult for them to spend leisure time together, to share common activities, to be physically intimate, or to exchange certain types of social support (Cummings, in pres). This Project is creating a virtual space to help people to close each other not by physically but, by using the projection of their physical image.
The interactions between time and psychological closeness are the most interesting results to assess the direction of the causal link between communication and closeness. The non-significant interaction between time and psychological closeness for overall communication suggests that respondents’ pre-existing closeness with a partner does not mitigate the drop in communication. The time and psychological closeness interactions were non-significant for both email and IM, again suggesting that respondents’ pre-existing closeness with a partner does not mitigate the drop in computer-mediated communication. The positive time and psychological closeness interaction for in-person communication suggests that prior closeness mitigates the drop in face-to-face communication (Cummings, in pres).
Social psychologists have long explored the processes linking communication, social resources, and psychological well being. People with more social resources—larger social networks, close relationships, community ties, enacted and perceived social support, and extraverted individual orientation—are likely to have better psychological functioning, lower levels of stress, and greater happiness (e.g., Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Cohen & Wills, 1985). In this project, the socializing of people through a game on the internet is aimed. Katz & Aspden (1997) conducted the first national survey of the public’s use of the Internet in 1995, when only 8% of their samples were users. They reported that Internet users had more total contact with family members than non-users did and made more new friends that year, including those they talked with or met on the Internet.
Everybody is going to be a user soon, and access is growing by successive birth cohorts. That means we can expect to see large changes for communities and society as a whole. More time people spend on the Internet, the less time they spend communicating with other people. In particular, 27% of heavy Internet users report spending less time talking to friends and family over the phone. 15% report spending less time physically with friends and family, and 13% report spending less time attending events outside the house. Leaving aside the fact that this means that 85% of heavy Internet users do not report spending less time with friends and family, the real question is whether the study has an appropriate definition of social isolation (Nielsen, 2000). Why is the telephone considered a superior form of social contact relative to the Internet and its communication formats such as email and discussion groups – or checking your grandchild’s home page for her latest drawings? If somebody had conducted a similar survey 100 years ago, they would surely have claimed that phone calls were a cold medium that undermined traditional forms of social contact such as visiting people to have tea. In assessing the impact of the Internet, the question is not whether it replaces (fully or partly) some other forms of communication and social contact (Bessière, 2004).
In conclusion, the Internet adds its own new forms of communication and social contact. People may well attend fewer meetings and events outside the house and yet feel connected to a community of others who “meet” on a much more regular basis online. The question is whether the new lifestyle is enjoyable and whether it nourishes humans or causes them damage. There is certainly a risk that some people get overly caught up in chat rooms and role playing, but a different kind of study is needed to assess this problem. We should experiment the new ways to handle the problem of social isolation (Bessière, 2004).
The method for this project is real-time-image-processing. Needs for this are; a closed dark place 15 m2, one camera or webcam , one projection system, one white surface for projection system, one white or green projection surface, one laptop. In a dark room, the participant who is standing in front of the green screen, acts through the animation that is screening into the white projection surface, is being shooted by the camera and this image is processed by the program in the computer. This is a clientserver application allowing real-time synchronous communication between individuals over the Internet. Client interface presents the user with a shared virtual 3D world, inwhich participants are represented by body form. The primary mode of communication is through multi-point, full duplex voice, managed by the server. Our design goal was to develop a virtual community system that emulates natural social paradigms, allowing the participants to sense a tele-presence, the subjective sensation that remote users are actually co-located within a virtual space. Once this level of immersive “sense of presence” and engagement is achieved, we believe an enhanced level of socialization, learning, and communication are achievable. We examine a number of very specific design and implementation decisions that were made to achieve this goal within platform constraints.
The video that is existing can be a prepared animation or a shiny surface. The participants can be in the same place, but also they can be from different places, cities, countries. They meet in the same virtual space, in other words they create their social environment by themselves. The most interesting and attractive part of the project is the usage the potential of “processing real-time” and “lively”. The aim of this usage is to give an enthusiasm to the participant in this social environment. This will be an interactive, participant based game or just some meeting cyberspace.
4.1 the timeline
Pre Production / 3 months
Literature survey, concept development, technology research, production
planning, enhancing video processing algorithms and methods.
Production / 6 months
Framework development, Producing visual environments database : studio scenes,
Collecting and combining visual environments, Interaction design, parallel operating design
Post Production / 3 months
Editing, compositing, mixing visuals, sound mixing, authoring, packaging, beta testing.
4.2 the medium
As the theoretical aspect of the project is related to world wide web, Background scenario ,and the participant individuals from home; therefore, the production will be a
web application. The technical challenge of the Project is to try going beyond the current interoperatable design,The visual challenge is the environment design that must be supported with motion graphics, typography and real-time interaction.
Graphicak and visual medium will be chosen considering the process of the concept development. The application architecture will be built with c# , developed in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, and some 3rd party components will be used for Real Time Processing.
1- Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychology Bulletin, 117, 497-529.
2- Bessière, K., Kiesler, S., Kraut, R., & Boneva, B. (2004, Dec). Longitudinal Effects of Internet Uses on Depressive Affect: A Social Resources Approach. Unpublished manuscript, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
3- Boneva, B., Quinn, A., Kraut, R. Kiesler, S., Cummings, J.,Shklovski, I. (In press). Teenage Communication in the Instant Messaging Era.In R. Kraut, M. Brynin, and S. Kiesler (Eds). Domesticating Information Technology. Oxford University Press.
4- Cummings, J., Lee, J., & Kraut, R. E., (In press) Communication technology and friendship: The transition from high school to college. In R. Kraut, M. Brynin, and S. Kiesler (Eds). Domesticating Information Technology. Oxford University Press.
5- Duck, S. (1998). Human relationships (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
6- Frohlich, D., & Kraut, R., (February 22nd 2002). The social context of home computing: Hewlett Packard Labs Carnegie Mellon University
7- Katz, J. E., & Aspden, P. (1997). A nation of strangers? Communications of the ACM, 40, 81-86.
8- Pew Internet Project Report (2001a). Teenage life online: The rise of the instant message generation and the Internet’s impact on friendships and family relationships. Principal authors: Lenhart, A., Rainie, L., & Lewis, O. Released on June 20, 2001. http://www.pewinternet.org/.
9- Shklovski, I., Kraut, R. E. & Rainie, L., (2004). The Internet and Social Relationships: Contrasting Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. [HTML publication]
10- DiPaola, Collins, A 3D Natural Emulation Design to Virtual
Communities, Siggraph ’99, 1999.
11- Damer, B. Avatars!: Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds
on the Internet. Peachpit Press, Berkeley. 1998.
12- Rheingold, H. The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the
Electronic Frontier. Addison-Wesley, New York. 1993.