While advances in commercial video conferencing and social networking are driving more people to communicate using video, it is still difficult to achieve a sense of co-presence - that is to make the technology transparent to its users - when mediating ad hoc interactions between groups of people in different locations. This paper presents an ambitious plan to define and demonstrate a platform for group communication that allows participants to create a robust video communication session that is centred on a shared activity and to which participants can join or leave in an arbitrary manner using an arbitrary device specification on an arbitrary network. We describe two representative applications in which co-presence is not currently well supported. We then explain the key technical capabilities which we believe must be developed in order to build our platform, highlighting how they extend the state of the art in the dynamic control of video communication systems and the configuration of key components within the network. We conclude by explaining how our novel platform will be implemented and evaluated over the next 3 years.
Video Communications for Networked Communities
International Conference on Intelligence in Next Generation Networks
Distributed and Interactive Systems

Stevens, T., César Garcia, P. S., Kegel, I., Farber, N., Williams, D., Ursu, M., … Kaiser, R. (2012). Video Communication for Networked Communities: Challenges and Opportunities. In Proceedings of International Conference on Intelligence in Next Generation Networks 2012 (pp. 148–155). IEEE. doi:10.1109/ICIN.2012.6376018