Topic: Virtual Co-Location: As if being there?
Complex problem solving often requires a team of experts to physically meet and interact with each other. Identifying the problem and creating a shared understanding is a prerequisite for efficiently solving a problem and is one of the major challenges. Typical scenarios are, e.g.: solving complex construction problems, training the usage of complex machinery, analysing complex situations in emergency services or diagnosing complex medical situations. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to bring a team together to jointly handle a complex situation. This is due to experts’ availability, critical timing issues or accessibility of a location. Virtual co-location allows experts to engage in spatial remote collaboration. It entails that experts are virtually present at any place of the world and interact with others that are physically present to solve complex problems as if being there in person. Virtual co-location relies on augmented reality to create spaces in which people and other objects are either virtually or physically present. The talk will explore the concept of virtual co-location along several scenarios from current and upcoming projects on remote support for emergency services, crime scene investigation or training of experiment procedures. The talk concludes with an overview of open issues that have to be addressed in order to answer the question “Virtual co-location, as if being there?” with a clear yes and a research agenda for the coming years.
Stephan Lukosch is associate professor at the Delft University of Technology. His current research focuses on virtual co-location. Individuals can be virtually at any place in the world and coordinate their activities with others and exchange their experiences. By using augmented reality techniques to merge realities additional information can be provided and visualized, thereby fostering shared understanding. By merging realities complex problems can be solved, complex trainings can be supervised, or complex activities can be guided without all interacting individuals being physically at the same place. In his research, he combines his recent research results on intelligent and context-adaptive collaboration support, collaborative storytelling for knowledge elicitation and decision-making, and design patterns for computer-mediated interaction.
His articles appeared in various journals including the International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems, International Journal of Human Computer Studies, and Journal of Collaborative Computing and Work Practices. Currently, he is a steering committee member of the special interest group on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) of the German computer science society and the ACM International Conference on supporting Group Work (GROUP). He further serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Universal Computer Science (J.UCS) and the International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems (IJCIS).