ROMEO: Remote Collaborative Real-time Multimedia Experience Over the Future Internet

ROMEO was a European Union ICT FP7 funded collaborative Integrating Project (IP) led by the I-Lab team (the current members of the IDT at Loughborough University London).

The project integrated 12 partners from 8 countries across Europe, including major industry, research, and academic institutions. It was a 36-month project, which kicked off in October 2011 and ended in September 2014. The total funding of the project was €10M.

In a nutshell, the project can be described with the following outline:

The ROMEO project addressed these challenges through compression and hybrid synchronised 3D multi-view media delivery. With high-bandwidth services of the future in mind, the project developed a fully functional and demonstrable platform for 3D multi-view video and associated spatial audio. This used content-aware delivery and intelligent adaptation methods to provide an immersive experience for remote users, including those on the move. This was achieved by combining Digital Video Broadcast – Second Generation Terrestrial technology (DVB-T2) with a content-aware peer-to-peer distribution system that operated over wired and wireless broadband links, including Wi-Fi and LTE. The platform also enabled multiple users to access and share media content with adaptable service quality, as well as experience and talk about the media they could see and hear at the same time.

All of these features collectively contributed to realising an enhanced collaborative and immersive 3D media delivery and consumption platform – the ROMEO platform. In addition to the visual immersion provided by 3D multi-view content, the perceived high-quality spatial audio proved to be a key component in building up the overall immersive 3D media experience. A real-time audiovisual communication link was also deployed in the ROMEO platform, which enabled users to become both creators and consumers of 3D multi-view video and spatial audio, enjoyed remotely yet jointly.

The ROMEO platform supported virtualisation of home user equipment. This eliminates the need for set-up work to be carried out in users’ homes, which reduces costs for network operators and makes life much easier for lay users. The developed system architecture was extensively evaluated through a series of user trials.