OctiCam: An immersive and mobile video communication device for parents and children

OctiCam is a mobile and child-friendly device that consists of a stuff ed toy octopus on the outside and a communication proxy on the inside. Relying only on two squeeze buttons in the tentacles, we simpli ed the interaction with OctiCam to a child-friendly level. A build-in microphone and speaker allows audio chats while a build-in camera streams a 360° video using a fish-eye lens. The second chat partner uses a notebook to connect to OctiCam and initiate a call. Through an Oculus Rift head-mounted dispaly (HMD) as a viewing device, the user can “take a look around” in real-time by watching the unwrapped video feed. The current gaze direction of the Oculus Rift HMD is then displayed as a pair of eyes on a ring of LED matrices beneath OctiCam’s soft shell. We argue that this concept allows a more immersive exploration of the proxy’s surroundings than a pan/tilt camera setup.

An upwards facing camera with a fish-eye lens captures OctiCam's surroundings and streams them to a remote client. The client can view the stream through a head-mounted display to experience a feeling of presence at the remote location.
a) An upwards facing camera with a fish-eye lens captures OctiCam’s surroundings and streams them to a remote client. b) The client can view the stream through a head-mounted display to experience a feeling of presence at the remote location.
The circular image captured by the fish-eye lens (a) is mapped on a 3D mesh of a dome (b) and viewed through a virtual camera centered in the dome (c). This creates a nearly undistorted image for the user and allows to explore the video via head rotation (d).
The circular image captured by the fish-eye lens (a) is mapped on a 3D mesh of a dome (b) and viewed through a virtual camera centered in the dome (c). This creates a nearly undistorted image for the user and allows to explore the video via head rotation (d).
OctiCam also supports a head-mounted display free client application that lets users explore the 360° video stream via swipes.
OctiCam also supports a head-mounted display free client application that lets users explore the 360° video stream via swipes.

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