by Barbara Whitmer

October 6, 1993

This is number 6 in a series of electronic newsletters for participants of the Ontario Telepresence Project

1. Luca Giachino, our charming visitor from CEFRIEL, has returned to Milano, Ita ly as of September 17th. He may be reached at: His a ddress is: CEFRIEL - Via Emanueli, 15 - 20126, Milano - Italy. A summary of his work performed while visiting with us follows: Activity Sensing Through Portholes Images: A Bridge Between Passive Awareness and Active Awareness Luca Giachino

In order to detect the presence of human activity using "Portholes" imag es, I wrote a software module, called CmpFrames, that compares two consecutive frames of a scene to guess if there has been some significant change (ie: someone entering of leav ing the scene). CmpFrames has been designed to operate quickly at the cost of ce rtain assumptions about the scene (for instance, it assumes a non-changing backg round). CmpFrames is the fundamental brick upon which I created a personal notif ication tool, called Monitor, that provides notifications of people's presence a nd availability. It has been mainly written for testing the CmpFrames module, bu t it turned out to be an interesting personal notification tool, and it is av ailable to everybody. At the Ottawa Engineering Group they successfully integr ated the CmpFrames module into the Xerox Portholes code.

2. ECSCW'93 was held in Milan, Italy September 13-17. Hiroshi Ishii presented a co-authored paper: Hiroshi Ishii, Kazuho Arita and Takashi Yagi, "Beyond Videoph ones: TeamWorkStation for Narrowband ISDN,"Proceedings of ECSCW '93, Kluwer Acad emic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands, September 1993, pp.325-340.

3. It was a busy week of Sept. 13th with the preparation of CHI'94 paper submiss ions. A total of seven papers submitted by the Telepresence group to this presti gious conference. Garry Beirne has stored electronic versions of the papers subm itted in a directory under /telepresence for industry and academic researchers t o access.

4. Telepresence hosted several visitors and staged several demos in September: