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Philipp Plum/ Fraunhofer FOKUS

Virtual LiVe: Virtualization of Live Events via Audiovisual Immersion

News from May 26, 2021

The three institutes Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fraunhofer HHI and Fraunhofer IIS have launched the project Virtual LiVe. The aim of the project is to digitally complement or even replace classic event formats by using new immersive media formats when physical presence is not possible. The new media formats, include for example 3D audio, 360° videos, light fields and volumetric videos. Virtual LiVe is hosted at the 3IT Innovation Center and funded under the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's “KMU-akut” program “Forschung für den Mittelstand (Research for SMEs)”.

Live events are an integral part of our society. From classical concerts to festivals, people want to gather impressions with their own senses. Not only the current COVID-19 pandemic but also ecological and practical life factors, such as traveling for too long or the lack of childcare in the evening, mean that many people are not able to physically attend events. This is precisely where technical solutions come in, which make an audience experience possible through audiovisual immersion that comes much closer to “being there live” than previously common formats.

The rapid development of digital media formats and offerings in combination with increasingly powerful playback devices such as smartphones or tablets offers a wide range of opportunities for digitally supplementing traditional performance practices, for example at concerts, plays, or other event formats such as congresses or trade fairs. In addition, digitization also offers extensive opportunities for developing new, independent formats and addressing new target groups.

The complexity of new technologies and the often associated high implementation costs for their online platforms make it difficult for cultural professionals to offer their services at the current state of the art. In this context, Virtual LiVe aims to develop a platform that offers applicable and scalable high-end solutions for the event streaming needs of different industries in the form of a modular system. From this modular system, SMEs can put together a customized program for their respective event needs and thus obtain a technology-based solution for the realization of their formats. Existing offerings should thus be significantly surpassed in terms of quality, accessibility (payment barriers, hardware integration, the prerequisite of high Internet speed, etc.), and legal aspects (especially concerning the topics of data sovereignty and EU data protection directives).

On May 26, 2021, the three project partners organized a virtual kick-off event together with renowned people from the cultural and event industry to present the status quo of digital events and to specify concrete requirements for technologies.

About 3IT

3IT − Innovation Center for Immersive Imaging Technologies has been established and is operated by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute for Communication Technology.

It is a partner network, research facility, test lab, and showroom. The focus lies on technologies such as 3D, UHD, HFR and HDR as well as image and video applications for the medical and industrial sectors. The 3IT offers its partners the unique opportunity to jointly develop the field of immersive imaging technologies in a precompetitive environment. With its 600 square meters, it is not only a virtual network but also a platform and venue.

The 3IT sets impulses for new synergies in product development, marketing and sales.