LEarn from Video Extensive Real Atm Gigabit Experiment

LEVERAGE News No 1, September 1996

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DIVINE - Deployment of Interpersonal Videoconferencing systems on IBC Networks (AC035)

Laurent Richard, Project Manager of the DIVINE project Laurent Richard, Project Manager of the DIVINE project, from CETIA in Toulon, France talks to Philippa Wright.

PW: What are the main goals of the DIVINE project?
LR: Over the next three years, the DIVINE project aims to develop high quality multipoint desktop videoconferencing on ATM which is able to interoperate with existing H320 compliant videoconferencing systems already in use. As our project is 'product-oriented' implementation and evaluation of the DIVINE system with real end users through the trials plays a key role.

PW: Who are your principal collaborators?
LR: Eleven organisations from six different EU member states are working together in DIVINE. The industrial companies involved in the project are: Alcatel-ISR (F); Bitfield (SF); Cetia (F) and TELES (D). They work in collaboration with three research centres: University of Cologne (D), Cselt (I) and Téléfonica (E) and five organisations representing real end-user companies: Alcanet International (F), CoIn (D), ESA (NL), Ford (D) and Thomson Facilities Management (F).

To give a brief overview of responsibilities: Alcatel-ISR is responsible for the HCI, Téléfonica for the protocol, TELES for the ATM/ISDN bridge and Cetia for system integration, validation and testing.

PW: What advantages will the DIVINE system offer in comparison to videoconferencing systems currently in use?
LR: DIVINE will offer better video quality with a more fluent image than is currently available on ISDN as well as the possibility of viewing all other partners simultaneously. It will also do away with the need for a Multipoint Control Unit (MCU), will be usable in a WAN or LAN environment and interoperate fully with current ISDN systems

PW: Who do you envisage will benefit from such a system?
LR: As DIVINE is a desktop system designed to be easily installed in various user environments anybody using videoconferencing could benefit from our work. The companies taking part in the trials are already heavy users of videoconferencing in their everyday work. Between them they have over 400 videoconferencing units at their disposal - they will certainly be demanding and looking for enhanced performance from the DIVINE system.

PW: Addressing real users' requirements is one of the stated 'key issues' for the DIVINE project. How are you doing that?
LR: The real end users involved in the project as associated partners have agreed to evaluate the system within their operational environment. DIVINE will be placed alongside their existing ISDN equipment. If at the end of the first trial every videoconferencing user uses DIVINE instead of Picturetel we can conclude that DIVINE is pretty good. If, however, users refuse to test any updated version of DIVINE we could say we failed although, of course, we aim to get far more varied and interesting results from the first trial than straightforward success or failure!

PW: How can people find out more about DIVINE?
LR: Currently the most up-to-date information about DIVINE can be found on our WWW pages:
Although it is early days for DIVINE, anyone interested in looking at the current demonstrator in Toulon or reading the deliverables produced by the project is welcome to contact me: lr@cetia.fr

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