Video Conferencing and Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is a truly fascinating multimedia application. In such, the computer creates an artificial environment using hardware and software. This is presented to the user in such a way that it appears and feels real. Three of the five senses are controlled by the computer in virtual reality systems. Virtual reality systems require extremely expensive hardware and software and are confined mostly to research laboratories.
The other multimedia application is video-conferencing. While a conference is conducted among two or more participants at various sites by using computer networks to transmit video and audio data, then it is termed as video conferencing. The video-conference is a set of interactive telecommunication technologies that allow two or more locations to interact via two-method video and audio transmissions simultaneously. This has also been termed as visual collaboration and is a type of groupware.
Digital compression of video and audio streams in actual time is the core technology behind video-conferencing. Codec is the hardware or software which executes compression. A compression rate of up to 1:500 can be achieved. The resultant digital stream of 1's and 0's is subdivided in labelled packets, that are then transmitted by a digital network generally ISDN or IP.
Another component needed for a VTC that is Video Tele Conference system comprise:
- Video input: video camera or webcam
- Video output: television or computer monitor
- Audio input: microphones
- Audio output: generally loudspeakers connected with the display device or telephone
- Data transfer: analog / digital telephone network, LAN or Internet