Video of the Virtual Office
with Arndt Hochstetter
The idea of the virtual office project is to connect two offices
in different towns via streaming video and audio for some days.
This connection is integrated in a video installation giving the
impression of a view into the other office. In each office, one
in Frankfurt and one in Berlin there's a beamer and a camera. The
beamer projects the image of the other office in real-size and real-time
on the wall. We use q-dsl internet connections to realize high quality
real-time video and sound. A longer duration, in this case three
days, creates an atmosphere of presence to the persons of the other
working space. If we feel the presence of another person we aren't
forced to communicate like on the telephone. We have the freedom
to just have a look or to talk or to make nothing.
The background of this idea is the growing pressure to be flexible
at work. Instead of travelling to the clients or business partners
we can work together via the internet, even at complicated projects.
We can discuss aspects of the projects, have a look at details and
share the work like in a real office. The internet connections become
cheaper so that an efficient connection is available for almost
The virtual office project wants to find out how it feels to have
a partner working next to you, but in a different city. How is the
workflow, how is the atmosphere?
For the project I chose the office of my partner Sascha in Frankfurt
and the office of the agency mc-quadrat in Berlin. I created the
installation-situation in 3D to find out camera perspectives, how
to place the furnitures and eventually find problems. I installed
four Mini DV video cameras and two beamers. In Frankfurt we used
two new 2,6 GHz PCs, also a 400 MHz Apple Labtop. In Berlin I had
a 1,25 GHz Mac and a 400 MHz one. At the final installation we used
the program i-visit 2.8b9 on MacOS 9.2.
The installation was planned to take place from 23rd to 25th of
up to 19th of
I looked for different softwares and found out their functions.
In Berlin I pressed forward the new network-installation, because
of an old server and firewall which couldn't let through the rtsp
protocol that we needed for all applications.
20th of april:
I was driving to Frankfurt to install the beamer, furnitures and
21st of april:
In Frankfurt we were installing all this and tried to stream via
real producer, but no success.
The ordered q-dsl connection in Frankfurt hasn't come in time. In
Mainz the real server was updated. In Berlin I installed the Quicktime
streaming server on my computer.
We tried to stream via Apples Quicktime Streaming. We had some connections,
but the server mixed the directions. Sometimes we heard our own
voice or saw our own video. The stream needed about 8 seconds to
the other town, so that we couldn't really communicate. The image
quality was bad, also voice quality. We managed to stream in both
ways just once. We also tried real streaming, but the server allways
disconnected and the computers crashed down. I installed a second
Quicktime streaming server on my second computer.
24th of april:
We had a Quicktime stream in both directions using two servers.
It worked constantly but with a huge delay and in a bad video- and
voice-quality. We tried real streaming again and again but could't
create a constant stream. We started to try I-visit and CuSeeme.
Both worked, but without sound. The built-in microphones of the
DV-Cams haven't been recognized.
25th of april:
With an external microphone and a pre-amplifier I installed the
sound-connection. In the evening we had a fine, but non fullscreen
I-visit connection with acceptable real-time video and audio. We
could talk free between Berlin and Frankfurt.
The technical problems have made it impossible to create the virtual
office for a longer duration. The two hours of connection that we
had, gave us an impression of the effect we intended.
The technology is still very complicated and needs specialists in
that topic. Unfortunately we couldn't create the atmosphere of presence
for the planned three days. The creation of a communication in real-size,
real-time sound and view to a partner in a different town has worked.
System: Mac OS
Server: Quicktime Streaming Server 1.0
Client: Quicktime Player 6.1.1 pro
Producer: Quicktime Broadcaster 1.0.1
Server: Helix Universal Server
Client: Real One Player 9.0
Producer: Real Producer 8.5.0
(768k/bit down- 192k/bit upload)
Berlin: q-dsl (1024k/bit down- 265k/bit upload)
webcam: 2 x miniDV
Dokucam: 2 x miniDV 3 Chip
1 PC 2,6GHz windows
1 PC 2 x 2,6 GHz windows
1 Mac Labtop 400MHz Mac OS9/OSX
1 Mac 2 x 1,25 GHz Mac OS9/OSX
1 Mac 400MHZ Mac OS9/OSX
Berlin, 5.5.2003, Arndt Hochstetter
1972 - Born in Freudenstadt
1997-1999 - Assistant graphical design agency Adler und Hubert, Mainz
1998-2000 - Assistant various film projects
2000 - Diploma Media Designer (FH-Mainz)
2000-2001 - Designer/Mac-Operator Postproduction 'Das Werk',
2001 - Designer at agency for multimedia interior design Luxoom, Berlin
2001-.... - Independent media designer: Motion design, Postproduction,
Foundation of Cremedigital, Concept, Motion, Graphics
2003 - Foundation of 'Lichtgestalten', Agengy for motion design