Together Anywhere, Together Anytime

The Together Anywhere, Together Anytime project is a video-communication system funded by the European Commission, and developed by computer scientists at Goldsmiths, University of London.

(Playing Pictionary using TA2)

For those familiar with Apple’s FaceTime, Microsoft’s Skype, and other similar media and communication software applications and devices, TA2 may not sound like anything radically new. However, while those technologies serve the individual, TA2’s goal is to serve groups, allowing them to freely communicate and participate in social interactions.

TA2 uses multiple internet-connected cameras, directional microphones, speakers and HD TV displays in the home, but most impressively it uses artificial intelligence, or AI for short. Through a unique cognitive process known as ‘intelligent video orchestration’ TA2 decides, in real-time, how to control the cameras and mix the video coming from the multiple sources for each screen which makes the social event more natural and authentic.

Fans of Jules Verne know that in his story In the Year 2889, he refers to a phonotelephone:

The first thing Mr. Smith does is activate his phonotelephote, the wires of which communicate with his Paris mansion. The telephote! Here is another great triumph of modern science. The transmission of speech is an old story; the transmission of images by means of sensitive mirrors connected by wires is a thing but of yesterday. A valuable invention indeed; Mr. Smith this morning is full of blessings for the inventor, when by its aid he is able distinctly to see his wife despite her great distance.

From East London Times; thanks to Sean for the tip and the reference.

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