This report describes Livespaces, a technology framework developed by DSTO to support advanced meeting spaces and distributed multi-site collaboration. It discusses the rationale behind the Livespace concept, the history of the research and development that lead up to the Livespaces approach, and, in particular, its roots in providing support for the intense collaboration sessions often required by ADF operational planning specialists. The novel technical architecture employed by the Livespaces operating environment is described, as well as the new capabilities it enables. The report also discusses possible configurations for a Livespace and various applicable off-the-shelf hardware technologies and their trade-offs.
This report contains a technical definition of the Livespaces technology framework developed by DSTO to support advanced meeting spaces and distributed multi-site collaboration. It defines the rationale behind the development of the Livespace concept, and describes the capabilities a Livespace provides. The Livespace concept originates from DSTO research into supporting the intense collaboration sessions often required of ADF planning specialists during the initial planning phase of an operation. Initial experiments in supporting this type of collaboration were carried out using a prototype assembled from components developed by several 3rd parties, including Stanford and the Distributed Systems Technology Centre. These lead to an initial Livespace prototype room at The University of South Australia, which was trialled as part of a series of Technical Exercises involving ADF planning staff. The requirements and experiences arising from the prototype were incorporated into the novel architecture for developing collaborative meeting spaces which is described in this report. This report describes the requirements and technical problem space that led to the design of the Livespace Bus, a distributed systems approach to solving the problem of integrating a disparate and distributed set of software and hardware components into a single manageable system. It includes a description of how the bus operates and provides a brief example showing how a software developer can use this framework to rapidly develop new Livespace services or extend existing ones. The software applications and services that have been developed on top of the Livespace Bus framework are described: these include various experimental groupware applications and the desktop applications for managing a Livespace smart meeting room, such as environmental settings (lights, volume, video switching, etc.) The report also discusses the various approaches to setting up a Livespace, its layout, trade-offs, and the various applicable hardware technologies that may be employed. In the future work section, we highlight the fact that Livespaces has matured to a level of stability that has enabled it to be successfully deployed to a number of ADF sites for advanced trials. It has also been deployed by Canada's DRDC to three Canadian sites under a TTCP Materiel Transfer Agreement. We discuss options for expanding the scope of Livespace application and collaboration, and recommend that an effective approach would be to make the Livespace framework available under an open source licence.
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