New Projects of INVR.SPACE and Reallifefilm International: Latest Achievements

As a Virtual Reality Full Service Production Studio our long-term partners INVR.SPACE and  reallifefilm international can already look back on a number of successful productions. A similar potential emerged in one of their newest projects called ‘Sublimation’, an interactive virtual reality experience about dance and the freedom of creation.

In a safe environment, the visitor encounters the avatar of a dancer and learns simple and slow movements of butoh—a Japanese contemporary dance. Guided by a voice over and an interactive soundscape, everyone is able to create shapes and colors. Each creation aggregates in a unique visual, but also musical composition.­­

The world premiere of ‘Sublimation’ took place at the 76th Venice Biennale on the VR island 2019 and the VR experience was officially selected at the 2020 Moovy Tanzfilmfestival Köln.

INVR.SPACE is also involved in different other projects, such as the interactive docu-fiction series African Space Makers. With a virtual tour, the Kenyan-German co-production aims at demonstrating how African urban heroes use art and creativity in urban areas to overcome established social norms on sexuality, gender, religion, minorities and race. 

Find out more about INVR.SPACE and their latest projects on their website.

New 3D PluraView Monitor by Schneider Digital

Schneider Digital, one of our long-term partners, has developed a new 3D PluraView monitor. The 3D PluraView family of monitors with the Plug&Play beam-splitter technology has the highest user acceptance of any 3D-stereo system currently on the market among all Geospatial workloads.
Their technology has been established for more than 14 years and has become the 3D-stereo display reference with the PluraView 28” stereo monitor at full 4K (UHD) resolution and 10-bit color depth. The high-end displays of the 3D-monitors make it uncomplicated to work in perfect high quality 3D-stereo experience even in daylight.

The 3D PluraView 3D-stereo monitor has been designed for stereo viewing in a wide variety of Geospatial and surveying industries, such as Photogrammetry, GIS / Mapping, 3D LiDAR, oil & gas prospecting, archaeology or BIM & 3D city model visualization. Even when several people are working together in front of the PluraView, the application still guarantees a perfect view from every angle with an absence of any display flickering.

Due to these unique features of the monitors and the advanced technology the 3D PluraView gives the freedom to completely redesign the stereo workstation environment, so tasks can be accomplished more efficiently with a much enhanced user motivation.

The key to perfect 3D stereo visualization in all professional applications is the new BlackTurner technology of the 3D PluraView, which enables the capturing of objects even in dark areas of the images. Ghost images and blurring are reduced by a reaction time of only 1ms. More detailed information about the 3D PluraView monitors can be found on Schneider Digitals website.

New Project launched @3IT: TeleSTAR

We are extremely proud to announce a new project at the 3IT: TeleSTAR. The project is funded as part of EIT Health, which is supported by EIT, a body of the European Union. TeleSTAR stands for Telepresence for Surgical Assistance and Training using Augmented Reality. In today’s surgical training, the transmission of surgeries for physicians and students is limited in terms of collaboration and perceived experience. Therefore a team of experts of TU Delft, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Fraunhofer HHI and ARRI Medical have come together to solve the problem with the help of Augmented Reality (AR). The TeleSTAR system uses a full digital surgical microscope and computer vision algorithms to develop new AR-based training and teaching methods and tools, leading to a new level of educational transparency. Live operations can be transmitted to any remote location. This includes the annotation of high-quality 3D images that show the surgical point of view in combination with audio commentary and text-based chat functions.

There will be intensive 1-2 day sessions where ENT procedures will be performed using the “ARRISCOPE”, a digital surgical microscope. ENT physicians from Germany and the Netherlands will attend surgeries, which will be broadcasted to remote lecture rooms for teaching purposes. At the end of the session CME points will be awarded. On 19 January 2020, a first test were held at the Charité in Berlin.

More detailed information can be found here or at EIT Health.

Pushing the envelope in Volumetric Video

In the Vision and Imaging Technologies (VIT) department at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI, a new state-of-the-art is being defined for the production and modification (i.e., animation and alteration) of volumetric video content. This is reflected in a new publication and the initiation of an EU-funded project “Innovative Volumetric Capture and Editing Tools for Ubiquitous Storytelling” (INVICTUS).

Volumetric video is interesting for Augmented and Virtual Reality applications, because it offers a high-quality free-viewpoint rendering of dynamic scenes. Typically, however, high-quality immersiveness is limited to pre-recorded situations, which precludes direct interaction with virtual characters. To enable interaction, classic computer graphic models are applied at the cost of realisticness.

In the 2020 Special Issue on Computer Vision for the Creative Industry, Dr Anna Hilsmann (head of the Computer Vision & Graphics research group in VIT) and colleagues present a pipeline for creating high-quality animatable and alterable volumetric video content, which “exploit[s] the captured high-quality real-world data as much as possible [because] it contains all-natural deformations and characteristics.” The key features of the pipeline are the supplementation of captured data with semantics and animation properties and the leveraging of geometry- and video-based animation methods that permit direct animation. In addition, the pipeline proposes a reliable approach for handling movement of body and faces. Faces, in particular, have traditionally been a challenge to the industry. Hilsmann et al. (2020) suggest a three-tiered solution: modeling low-resolution features (e.g., coarse movements) using geometrics, overlying video-based textures to capture subtle movements and fine features, and synthesizing traditionally neglected features (e.g., eyes) using an autoencoder-based approach.

Building on the theme of the publication, the new EU-funded project INVICTUS (accepted in early March 2020 with a two-year duration) will rally state-of-the-art volumetric motion capture technologies that capture both appearance and motion of actors to produce volumetric avatars and facilitate the creation of narratives. The deliverables of the project include three innovative authoring tools: 1. for high-resolution volumetric capture of both appearance and motion of actors, which can be used for high-end off-line (film) productions and real-time rendering productions; 2. for editing high-fidelity volumetric appearance and motion; and 3. for story authoring (e.g., editing decors, layouts, and animated characters). The project involves two research groups in VIT (Computer Vision & Graphics and Immersive Media & Communication) and partners Ubisoft Motion Pictures, Volograms Limited, the University of Rennes, and Interdigital R&D France.

To learn more about these developments, visit the department website. Also, save the date: VIT (in collaboration with colleagues in the Video Coding and Analytics Department) is developing a demo that highlights interactive volumetric video streaming and rendering, which will be demonstrated at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) 2020 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

3IT as Testbed for Corona-App: PEPP-PT Testing in our Facilities

The current situation surrounding Covid-19 alters usual work procedures in the 3IT – as it does everywhere. As in-house tours and events are not possible at the moment, the 3IT team is proud that our facilities can contribute to the further development of a system that will help to minimize the spread of coronavirus.

We are hosting several test runs in the facilities of the 3IT and the CINIQ Center in order to support the scientific endeavors to produce a fully functioning Privacy Protecting Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT).

The PEPP-PT system is being created by a multi-national European team. It is an anonymous and privacy-preserving digital contact tracing approach, which is in full compliance with GDPR and can also be used when traveling between countries through an anonymous multi-country exchange mechanism. No personal data, no location, no Mac-Id of any user is stored or transmitted. PEPP-PT is designed to be incorporated in national corona mobile phone apps as a contact tracing functionality and allows for the integration into the processes of national health services. The solution is offered to be shared openly with any country, given the commitment to achieve interoperability so that the anonymous multi-country exchange mechanism remains functional.

PEPP-PT’s international team consists of more than 130 members working across more than seven European countries including scientists, technologists, and experts from well-known research institutions and companies. The result of the team’s work will be owned by a non-profit organization to ensure that the technology and standards are available to everyone. The priorities are the well being of world citizens today and the development of tools to limit the impact of future pandemics – all while conforming to European norms and standards.

For further information on the German approach on proximity tracing as proposed by Fraunhofer, please click here.

Our Partner cirp GmbH and their Collaborator Fazua Develop Reusable Face Visor

The current situation with COVID-19 has created an exceptionally high demand for protective equipment in hospitals and clinics, especially for Facial Visors. Therefore, our longtime partner cirp GmbH worked together with Fazua to plan and produce visors within a very short time. The two companies have already been collaborating for several years, which is one of the reasons why the cooperation has been so successful.

cirp GmbH is a specialist for additive manufacturing and rapid tooling in Heimsheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg and uses the latest CAD/CAM systems and 3D scanning and printing technology. Their partner Fazua GmbH is based in Oldenbrunn, Bavaria and is a producer of electric bicycle drives.

cirp used modern and efficient 3D-printing technologies to design and produce the first 800 headbands in less than 4 days.. At the same time Fazua produced the matching lenses for the facial visors and was therefore able to supply the first clinics with the product after only five days.

A stable temple, a large side cover and high wearing comfort characterize the visor. Additional covers for chin and forehead are available as optional extras. The visor distance to the headband is approx. 4cm, therefore the visor can be worn with breathing masks, protective goggles and/or corrective glasses. Another main advantage of the visors is their versatility and simple cleaning.

From now on, several thousand visors can be produced daily. They are available in packaging units of 100 from cirp and Fazua.

For more information on the building process, read cirps’ press release (only available in German).


Schneider Digital Presents: Brand New AMD Radeon Pro W5500 Workstation Graphics Card

Our long-time partner Schneider Digital has developed a new professional Graphics Card, which is already available on the market. The new AMD Radeon Pro W5500 Workstation Graphics Card has 8 GB of memory, uses 7nm RDNA architecture and perfectly matched hardware and software components with GDDR5 memory and PCI-Express 4.0. Independent benchmark tests confirm almost 50% better efficiency in demanding practical calculations.

The new graphic card is especially useful for the fields of conception and production as well as for architects, engineers and constructors, due to its ability to visualize designs and concepts in real time, which guarantees a better interaction. Another advantage is the availability of the new AMD Radeon Pro W5500 not only for 2D but also for 3D applications, which allows the viewing of work-in-progress in VR and real-time environments.

With the support of AMD Remote Workstation3, users can additionally access the workstation anytime, from any location. This enables companies to ensure a fast and efficient workflow, while optimizing and scaling power consumption for real energy efficiency.

The new AMD Radeon Pro W5500 workstation graphics card is now in stock at Schneider Digital. The new card will be adapted individually to Schneider Digital’s configured workstations.

For more detailed information, find the press release here or visit Schneider Digital.



First 3IT Partner Meeting in New Format

On 20 February 2020 many partners of the 3IT came together in a Partner Meeting for a decision-making process in a new format. Up until this year, the Steering Committee was solely responsible for determining the 3IT’s strategic direction. It consisted of 3IT gold and platinum partners and was chaired by Dr. Ralf Schäfer. In regular meetings the committee came together to discuss and decide the further aims of the 3IT Innovation Center.

In the Steering Committee Meeting of last year, the committee members decided on a new path for the 3IT: The Steering Committee Meeting was changed into a general Partner Meeting that will be held three to four times a year. All 3IT partners are invited to take part in these meetings and to participate in determining the 3IT’s strategic direction.

The 3IT offers its partners the unique opportunity to jointly develop the field of immersive imaging technologies in a precompetitive environment, as a virtual network, as a platform and as a venue.

The 3IT partners have the following advantages as part of the network:

  • A communication platform for providers, users and a broad audience as well as a marketing instrument for advertising, sales and PR – in the shape of joint presentations at trade fairs and conferences, through joint mailings and overarching press and PR work.
  • A development platform and testbed for immersive imaging technologies, applications and infrastructures
  • A transfer platform for know-how – professional qualifications through workshops and conferences
  • Support for research projects on industry-relevant applications – with technical advice and financial support from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

And now, in the very first collective Partner Meeting on 20 February 2020 the participating partners had the possibility to discuss their views and needs of the network in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Because the 3IT grew to become an international network, the meeting was both local and virtual. Partners who could not attend in person, simply attended via our network.

All in all it was successful meeting, where new ideas for projects and workshops have been discussed and looked into and everybody left the meeting with fresh ideas in mind.

We are looking forward to our next meeting! If you are interested in staying up to date, subscribe to our newsletter!

Not a partner but interested in attending a meeting? Write us a mail!


3IT Partners Celebrate Annual Technology Innovation Days in Feb 2020

On 18 and 19 February, just in time with the beginning of the Berlinale, our partners Sony, Lawo and Rohde & Schwarz came together to celebrate what has become one of the most popular events at the 3IT: the annual Technology Innovation Days. Business partners and industry experts of the broadcast market gathered in the facilities of the 3IT and the CINIQ Center for a 2-day pitch and networking event. This year’s topic was all about finding ‘orientation along the new shores’ and included answering the question of the human factor in the new digitalized and virtualized working environment of the technology and media industry.

New ideas have formed, experiences have been exchanged and new contributions have been discussed. The workshops, which have taken place in the ‘Expert Lounge’ parallel to the lectures, proved their worth again and have been very well received by the participants.

You can find the presentations here, if your interest has been sparked!

As in former years, the event was accompanied by the Visual Facilitator Malte von Tiesenhausen, who graphically summarized the approaches and solutions given in the many talks and helped in creating a broader picture of the aims of the event. The final version of it can be found under the presentation’s link.

The date for the next Technology Innovation Days has been set already:

Date: 23 and 24 February 2021
Loation: 3IT and CINIQ

Save the date!

Fraunhofer Alumni Summit 2019

On 20 November 2019 the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft came together in Berlin to celebrate their annual Summit and networking event. Consistent with the focus topic on Artificial Intelligence the CINIQ Center and the 3IT hosted the evening program of the Summit.

Following a guided tour through the HHI premises, Dr. Roland Busch (Siemens) and our institute director Prof. Dr. Thomas Wiegand welcomed the guests in our rooms and started the evening with exciting presentations on Machine Learning and state-of-the-art research in various related projects.

An interesting panel discussion between Prof. Ina Schieferdecker (Head of Dept. BMBF), Prof. Sami Haddadin (Director of Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence), Jeremie Lecomte (Senior Technical Program Manager for Alexa, Amazon) and Prof. Dr. Michael Waidner (Institute director Fraunhofer SIT) completed the official part of the event.

Many Alumnis used the relaxed atmosphere during the dinner to network and chat about past and future projects.