Evaluating Out Of This World: An Experiment in Inhabited Television

  • Benford S
  • Bowers J
  • Craven M
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This document forms Deliverable D7a.1 of the eRENA project of the i3 schema of the ESPRIT-IV research action of the European Communities. eRENA is concerned with the development of electronic arenas for culture, art, performance and entertainment in which the general citizen of the European Community might actively participate supported by advanced Information Technology (IT). Within this general context, the current deliverable reports on the project’s first experiment in ‘Inhabited Television’ whereby Virtual Reality (VR) technology is deployed to enable the citizen to participate within broadcast TV. The document describes how, through an actual public demonstration, we were able to realise a popular format TV show within a multi-user virtual environment by paying special attention to the design of simple yet powerful interfaces for participants and viewers, together with novel camera control and event management software support for the production team. We have also subjected our work to extensive evaluation from a number of perspectives, both social scientific and technical. The results of these evaluations and their implications for work in the project and for more general research topics are described. In particular, it is emphasised how this deliverable is the product of international, cross- partner and cross-profession collaborations in the project and how the work within it has been able to lever new integration pathways within the project.

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  • Steve Benford

  • John Bowers

  • Mike Craven

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