Spin|3D is a synchronous collaborative software platform, which implements the Collaborative Virtual Environment concepts presented in 4.1 . Spin|3D is developed 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 mechanism, a legacy software such as a CAD modeler can be connected to Spin|3D, without needing any heavy cross-integration).
Until mid-2004, the LIFL worked, mainly, on "low level" layers, furnishing the communication framework and the object handling layer. Since then, we work on providing genericity and configurability to all platform's layers. We are, also, developing an authoring tool to help designers write a Spin|3D application. We lead researches on other based component approach   . France Télécom, on its side, studies human/human communications through the development of avatars, the integration of video-communications, free-hand interactions and works on the definition of end-users applications.
The main target applications are digital project reviews, support for medical diagnostics, virtual laboratory works and network games. France Télécom, with the IRCAD, has developed, during 2003, a prototype of a medical diagnostic application, called Argonaute 3D. An improved version of this application is currently being developed for the Odysseus European project.
Spin|3D will be used in the context of Part@ge, a national project funded by the ANR. Some technologies used in Spin|3D are also being transferred to a local small company. Some other applications, in the digital project review domain, are in preparation.