Virtual green screen for video conferencing brings people together

Friday, November 19 2010

New technology developed by researchers at the University of Illinois allows those using video conferencing technology to be virtually present together on the computer screen.

Although not exactly a teleportation system, Scotty of Star Trek fame would likely be thrilled by this technology as it beams people's images through computers, televisions, cell phones and other electronic devices equipped with a web camera.

According to the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois, users will be able to change the background of their video conference. For example, instead of sharing a report with a remote colleague from your office, a user could be sitting before the Eiffel Tower - or they would at least appear to be. Remote users can also unite by being super-imposed together on the same screen in front of a variety of unique backdrops.

Sanjay Patel, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university, sees many other applications for the technology in education, business, social networks, gaming and entertainment.

Green screen technology isn't just for video these days, writes PR Log. Many photographers use green screens for portraits and large subjects with wide covering of the background.