Project : alcove
Participant : Samuel Degrande [correspondent].
Spin|3D is a synchronous collaborative software platform, which implements the Collaborative Virtual Environment concepts presented in 4.2. Spin|3D is developped in collaboration with France Telecom R&D (Lannion's site). A multi-disciplinary team (computer scientists and psychologists) composed of a dozen of members (one half in Lille, one half in Lannion) works on that project. We aim at providing a complete software environment to ease the development of collaborative applications.
For that purpose, Spin|3D is built on a core layer which can be extended with dynamically loaded external modules. Two kind of external modules can be plugged : viewer plugins, to display objects not directly handled by the core layer (such as an HTML plugin, for example), or autonomous external applications which communicate with the core through a local Corba bus (with that mecanism, a legacy software such as a CAD modeler can be connected to Spin|3D, without needing any heavy cross-integration).
The LIFL works, mainly, on "low level" layers, furnishing the communication framework (result of a PhD thesis, see 6.1), and the object handling layer. France Télécom, on its side, studies human/human communications through the development of avatars, and works on the definition of end-users applications.
The main target applications are digital project reviews, support for medical diagnostics, vitual laboratory works and network games. We have proposed a virtual lab-work (to help students learn the use of an oscilloscope and a signal generator) in the Divilab European project (IST-1999-12017). France Télécom, with the IRCAD, has developped, during 2003, a prototype of a medical diagnostic application, called Argonaute 3D . Some other applications, in the digital project review domain, are in preparation.