The long and successful experience in the previous ACTS European project VIDAS has opened further possibility to work together in a new challenging project like INTERFACE aimed at giving not only outstanding evidences of scientific/technical excellence, but also at representing a remarkable example of European cultural integration. The experience we are living together since January 2000 finds its major pride in the ability of 14 European and extra-European institutions to work together in harmony and coordination, appreciating and valuing each individual contribution, while keeping fixed reference to the planned objectives and worktable. In continuity with the two previous International Workshops on Synthetic/Natural Hybrid Coding and 3D Imaging (IWSNHC3DI) organized as VIDAS project in 1997 and 1999, we are now renewing our commitment in the field of scientific dissemination with the organization of the 1st International Conference on Augmented, Virtual Environment and 3D Imaging (ICAV3D).
The INTERFACE project is currently halfway in its planned activity, just at the critical midpoint when words start turning into facts, ideas into implementations and algorithms into demonstrations of possible applications. Well, this was indeed our initial objective: to provide concrete evidences of an exploitable technology enabling natural man-machine interfaces based on emotional speech and gesture interactions. For this reason we are now meeting in Mykonos with more than one hundred colleagues from different parts of the world to discuss these issues together, to show one another our latest achievements and to depict visionary scenarios for future exploitations of these technologies. We feel we are just at the beginning of our way, a long way we started together some years ago and that is still leading us toward more and more ambitious goals.
Quite apart from the sponsorship and financial assistance provided by INTERFACE, generous help by the European Union permitted the continuation in the same event of another long lasting series of workshops focusing on the complementary area of 3D Imaging and Video Coding. This series started in Santorini in 1995 under the sponsorship of the ACTS PANORAMA project and COST 230, and continued in the 1997 and 1999 workshops sponsored by VIDAS.
As you may have noticed, the complete name of this conference includes the words EUROIMAGE 2001. This responds to the intention of EURASIP, a third co-sponsor of the conference, to stress the presence of the image processing community in our association. Towards this goal, EURASIP made a first step two years ago by changing the meaning of its acronym to EURopean Association for Speech, Signal and Image Processing. Currently, EURASIP reinforces this concept by creating a series of conference: EUROIMAGE. EUROIMAGE should be the mechanism for researchers in the different areas of visual information (image processing, computer vision, synthetic image creation, etc.) to present their results in a common European conference. The idea is that a EUROIMAGE conference takes place every two years, covering at each occasion a different, relevant topic for the people developing their research in the visual information domain. The first conference in this series is EUROIMAGE ICAV3D 2001.
Michael G. Strintzis