Toward the New Era of Visual Communication

Masahide KANEKO  Fumio KISHINO  Kazunori SHIMAMURA  Hiroshi HARASHIMA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E76-B   No.6   pp.577-591
Publication Date: 1993/06/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Issue on Next Generation Visual Telecommunication and Broadcasting)
visual communication,  intelligent image coding,  model-based coding,  facial image,  communication with realistic sensations,  virtual space teleconferencing,  computer supported cooperative work,  CSC W,  collaboration,  

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Recently, studies aiming at the next generation of visual communication services which support better human communication have been carried out intensively in Japan. The principal motive of these studies is to develop new services which are not restricted to a conventional communication framework based on the transmission of waveform signals. This paper focuses on three important key words in these studies; "intelligent," "real," and "distributed and collaborative," and describes recent research activities. The first key word "intelligent" relates to intelligent image coding. As a particular example, model-based coding of moving facial images is discussed in detail. In this method, shape change and motion of the human face is described by a small number of parameters. This feature leads to the development of new applications such as very low bit-rate transmission of moving facial images, analysis and synthesis of facial expression, human interfaces, and so on. The second key word "real" relates to communication with realistic sensations and virtual space teleconferencing. Among various component technologies, real-time reproduction of 3-D human images and a cooperative work environment with virtual space are discussed in detail. The last key word "distributed and collaborative" relates to collaborative work in a distributed work environment. The importance of visual media in collaborative work, a concept of CSCW, and requirements for realizing a distributed collaborative environment are discussed. Then, four examples of CSCW systems are briefly outlined.