Virtual tools for library
Multiple party conferencing over the Internet will become commercially
acceptable only if it can provide a framework for secure communication. This security
needs to include authentication of participants and encryption of the media.
The objective of the MECCANO project is to provide technology components to support
collaborative research and technical development through enhanced tools for multimedia
collaboration. The project is using and improving existing conferencing tools. Particular
application aims are distance education and conferencing.
The project is seeking improvements in many important ways. These include the
introduction and recording of multimedia information in conferences. It is also pursuing
capability for optimum video, audio, shared workspace and applications sharing over
multiple bandwidths. Compatibility is being sought across platforms and through current
standards and the integration of low-speed access facilities, with distributed, secured,
control systems. The project is developing AudioGate: a practical software digital gateway
between standard videoconferencing over the Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN)
and multicast conferencing on the Internet. The project work covers conference
announcement, invitation and network reservation and generally making multimedia
conferencing tools easier to use by untrained users.
The MECCANO stand is demonstrating secure multicast multimedia conferencing with sites
in France, Germany, Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom. This is achieved in two ways:
over the Internet and using Internet Protocol over an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
Virtual Private Network. There will also be a multicast multimedia conference from a
telephone through a gateway.