TOTEM is not the only project funded by the Programme Inter Carnot Fraunhofer (PICF) scheme. As the official PICF website describes, the goals for this funding programme are to:
Enhance scientific leadership in national and international R&D
Prepare the transfer of technology and knowledge to industry
Create long-term strategic French-German alliances between excellent research organizations
So on October 27th a few members of our project were invited to Bernardin's College in Paris to participate in the starting celebrations as this year's projects were the first ever to be funded. This is our poster from the poster session:
The start of a new research project is always very exciting. Usually there is quite a delay between handing in the written proposal and the official project start, and often you have not met your project partners in person beforehand. In this case we submitted our documents at the end of January and now we already have September which marks the official start of TOTEM.
The full title of our project is “TOTEM - Theories and Tools for Distributed Authoring of Mobile Mixed Reality Games” and as it is a French-German collaboration project, we also have the names in French (“Outils méthodologiques et informatiques pour la création partagée des jeux de réalité mixte sur mobile”) and German (“Theorien und Werkzeuge zum verteilten Gestalten mobiler Spiele in Gemischter Realität”) respectively. It is funded under the “Programme Inter Carnot Fraunhofer” (PICF) scheme by the French National Reseach Agency (ANR) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Unlike your typical EU research project, our consortium consists only of two partners, one Fraunhofer Institute from Germany and a Carnot Institute from France:
So much for the administrative things. What are we actually going to do in the project? You can find a more elaborate description on our overview page, so let me just quickly summarize our goals:
We are going to develop a system which enables everyone to author mixed reality games and to play these on mobile devices.
Let’s have a look at the sentence in more detail:
“Everyone” means that our authoring tools should be simple enough for non-programmers to use but powerful enough to not alienate professional developers.
“Mixed reality games” include all games that use more than just your screen. It can mean location based games, pervasive games or augmented reality games.
“Mobile devices” mainly stands for mobile phones but does not necessarily exclude tablets for example
Of course as the project only just started, there are still many questions to be answered and decisions to be made. Some of them we already tackled during our two day kick-off meeting at Campus Birlinghoven in Sankt Augustin, Germany.