Sydney IT company installs Portal-style video chat

Aussie software company builds two Portal-themed teleconferencing screens.

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There are big dollars in gaming merchandise, and Valve's Portal franchise has spun off lines of official, and unofficial, paraphernalia. While actual portal technology is still a while away, one Aussie software company has opted to deck out its new videoconferencing hardware around the iconic blue and orange portals.

In order to save staff crossing the road in between offices, Atlassian has turned a potentially boring videoconferencing experience into a video game crossover. Using two 42-inch TVs, two webcams that are hooked up to two Mac Minis, and some clever craftsmanship, the end result is a nifty re-creation of the portals from Valve's iconic franchise.

The new look GLaDOS?

In a blog post on the company's website, Atlassian had the following to say about its new setup:

"We've installed portals in our two office locations in Sydney here at the Atlassian Software Enrichment Centre, saving our staff many exhilarating but risky street crossings every day. The portals allow staff to have ad hoc meetings and conversations by transmitting light and sound."

Not just content with blurring the lines between science and real life, Atlassian has alluded in the same blog post that the company is looking to incorporate the portals with the Kinect, via some hacks.

Atlassian is an Aussie-founded software company that specializes in project management software and collaboration tools. Started in Sydney, the company now has multiple offices and has recently expanded into the US, opening up an office in San Francisco.

Discussion

4 comments
wubeikk
wubeikk

@keech yeah, i know it but it would be really hard to get the latency to like 1ms and would be nearly impossible to do over Internet. it was just rather as a joke tribute to the game mechanics ;P

Flavorysoup
Flavorysoup

They should just have random holes in the walls shaped like portals. Blue on one side, and orange on the other. That would be awesome. Portals for doors!

keech
keech

@wubeikk If you had the cameras on either side "talk" with each other and tracked the persons movement and had the other cam move in relation to where the person was standing it could be possible...I think. It makes sense in my head haha. That may be what they were eluding to with the Kinect.

wubeikk
wubeikk

i'm wondering if you can hover to sides and see other angles of the room ;)