Section: Contracts and Grants with Industry
Keywords : Collaborative interactions, 3D interactions, Collaborative Virtual Environments, Awareness of the network latency within CVEs.
Within this contract that is following the VTHD contract, we work to make our OpenMASK distributed kernel more tolerant to network problems. Thanks to this new kernel, we can enable a weak synchronization between the different processes involved in a collaborative simulation. Then, we can visualize the differences between the simulated objects located on different sites, making the end-users aware of the network problems. Our aim is to provide tools that would allow to evaluate the capabilities of the VTHD++ network for rapid rerouting and dynamic provisioning.
Here our aim is to use our collaborative OpenMASK kernel to create multi-sites and multi-users 3D collaborative applications upon the VTHD++ network.
The end-users of the CVEs are to be aware of the problems due to the network. These problems such as latency or temporary breakdowns can make their view of the world inconsistent with the views of the other end-users.
It is the reason why we offer the possibility to visualize the differences between referentials and mirrors: to make a user, located on the same network node than a simulated object, aware of the fact that the other users may perceive this object in a different way (at a different location for example), because of the latency introduced when the system updates the mirrors of a referential. This kind of awareness must allow an end-user to perceive fluctuations of the network latency, and it should allow to validate the QoS obtained with the dynamic provisioning service, because it could show the instantaneous QoS provided by the network.
We also want to allow the use of CVEs with OpenMASK even during network breakdowns, thanks to our new modified kernel. Then, we want to make the users aware of that kind of problem, and inform them that collaborative work is still possible, within some limitations, waiting for the network to come up again. This should allow to validate the correct behavior of the rapid rerouting service offered by VTHD++.
We also have improved the distributed OpenMASK kernel to take into account the particularities of the collaboration between very distant sites linked with high-speed networks. Our software tools have been tested on a local network; the new distributed kernel and some of these new tools have already been deployed on VTHD++, between Rennes and Grenoble, allowing us to make collaborative interactions with haptic feedback between two remote haptic devices: a Virtose in Rennes and a Spidar in Grenoble. Such a demonstration has been shown at the last VTHD++ meeting in Rennes, and a video of this demonstration has be used for the final VTHD++ review.