iSee brings video conferencing into customisable 3D virtual spaces where, in essence, the real life characteristics of a human gathering are being emulated. iSee participants are represented by video avatars and their voices travel in the virtual space as in an analogous real environment, allowing users to sense the proximity and direction of speakers. The combination of rich visual and aural scenes creates a sense of immersion and provides a comfortable space for users to interact and communicate with each other. The social complexities of real life are inbuilt; dynamic group formation and interaction occur naturally, multiple simultaneous conversations can take place, and the natural human behaviour of mingling in a crowd becomes possible.
iSee lifts engagement in dispersed work force meetings and distance education, and will also be of great benefit in connecting regional community members. iSee can scale to support meetings of any size, from two to hundreds. It requires low-bandwidth connections and no special hardware other than a laptop with a webcam and microphone.
iSee is the culmination of years of research on advanced multimedia communications conducted at the University of Wollongong with the support of Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre, Australia. In 2012, iSee was announced as a triple award winner for R&D in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) – first winning the NSW and National iAwards in Australia and then the prestigious Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards against entries from 13 nations in the region.