Lecture, 26th February 2013

I’m starting to think that this is the best bunch of students I’ve had for a few years.  Pretty much full attendance (45 students), with all showing enthusiasm, intelligence, a keenness to work hard, and real ability.

Another great class yesterday, covering (in the first half of the lecture) Second Life Streamed Media and (second half of lecture) both uploaded and streamed audio.  We ran out of time, so I wasn’t able to finish the coverage of streamed audio and video, but that can now wait until next week.  (And–reminder!–next week’s lecture will again be in Lab SB 127.)


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Lecture and workshop, 5th February 2013

A good attendance at today’s lecture and workshop, with nearly 50 students in the online class.

3lu Arbizu
HeadRebel Caeran

Well done, all, for joining in and for accomplishing the initial workshop tasks so swiftly and so well.

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Yes, I’ve been a tad neglectful of late in blogging the interesting things currently happening in virtual worlds.

One of my discoveries around a year ago was Protosphere developed by ProtonMedia, a Microsoft partner offering an enterprise virtual environments targeted squarely at the business sector.

I’ve not had the opportunity to try it out, though its integration with Microsoft Sharepoint and Office 365 will undoubtedly have made this an attractive environment for the business user.  Some blurb from the product overview on the ProtoMedia web site:

ProtonMedia is the developer of ProtoSphere, the market-leading immersive, social, learning & collaboration enterprise environment available in the SaaS cloud. ProtoSphere’s virtual environment provides an arsenal of business-focused collaboration and communication tools that help companies accelerate decision-making and raise productivity, improving workplace performance overall.

ProtoSphere allows you to create an always on virtual work space, where the right people and the right data come together at exactly the right moment to increase the speed and effectiveness of knowledge transfer.

ProtoSphere is immersive, social, learning & collaboration available in the SaaS cloud.

  • Social: Each user is represented by an avatar, connected to a SharePoint profile, blog and wiki. This allows your organization to leverage the power of social production to create and manage knowledge.
  • Immersive: Boring 2D web meetings are not enough to engage your work force. With ProtoSphere organizations can hold their culture together over distance in an engaging, human way. Engagement level goes up and the cost of engagement goes down.
  • Learning: The next generation E-Learning experience allows your organization to make learning transformative and fully integrated into your unified communications infrastructure.
  • In the Cloud: ProtoSphere is a humanized, social display layer to both cloud and on premises systems, unifying your IT infrastructure in a series of interconnected shared spaces, each space being an always on Lync conference call.

ProtoSphere’s innovative environment has the unique ability to tie together multiple forms of unified communications/collaboration and visualization technologies to foster fast and timely collaborative decision making in the enterprise. ProtoSphere uniquely delivers on the ability to bring together the people within an enterprise – anywhere and anytime, with their data – in all forms – including stored video, streaming video, application content, spreadsheets, documents, images, presentations, web content, etc. to enable an optimal business decision.

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Kicking off Semester 2

A big welcome to all new VR students at the beginning of the semester!

Please create your Second Life accounts at:


and then enter your real name and Second Life name in the spreadsheet at:


See you all next Tuesday!

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Store Trek

Not a new idea–I still have a couple of promotional video clips for a 3D online supermarket shopping environment dating from as far back as February 2001–but an idea whose time has perhaps finally come.  UK SAP technology company Keytree preview their 3D immersive shop:

The Keytree website is, at the time of writing, under redevelopment and so further details are spare.  The following is the text to the YouTube video:

“Powered by K-Motion Store technology. This is the first incarnation of a 3D store that crosses the divide between in store and online shopping. Online is quick and convenient and products are recommended to you but the experience is not very engaging or immersive. In store you can see entire product ranges but they are not tailored to you, you have to travel to the store and get stuck in the queue at checkout. Store Trek takes the benefits of in store by delivering tailored virtual shelves in a virtual store layout driven by a personalisation engine you would have with an online store.”

The kinect allows you to walk round the TV with the shelves automatically adjusting to give you the rich 3D experience. Rendering tens of thousands of products from real retailers in realtime you can purchase items by reaching out towards the shelf and the product will be added directly to your basket.

This application is linked to data provider APIs and is developed separately by Keytree.

Further information can be found on Will Powell’s blog, including press coverage of Store Trek.

Augmented reality rather than virtual reality, Keytree’s Layar-like ‘Grace Brothers Demo’ offers a vision of ‘contactless’ buying through the innovative use of NFC:


» http://www.keytree.co.uk

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Just a quick post, as today is a busy day …

Vexpo is another i3D subscription-based service aimed at business users, offering spaces for events, conferences, and trade shows.  I’ll look at it again another day and blog it more fully.

» http://vexpo.net

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Free OpenSim hosting for education

I’m a bit slow in posting this piece, blogged in Hypergrid Business on 15th July by Maria Korolov:

Free Open University offers free OpenSim hosting

By Maria Korolov

It’s been in the works for a couple of years now, and finally launched quietly last month — now the Free Open Grid project from Free Open University hopes to get 200,000 schools into OpenSim.

As part of its initial push, the group offers free regions for anyone, whether or not education-related. The only exception is elementary schools — Free Open Grid is currently working on creating a secure virtual private network to support the safety requirements of younger students.

Read more …

It’s worth reading the comments beneath the article, however. Linda Kellie, for whom I have a lot of respect, writes:

Although this sounds really nice on the surface I don’t get it. Anyone can host a free region on OSGrid simply by downloading the OpenSim software and setting it up on their computer and probably have it run smoother than this guy will do. Your article makes it sound like this is some sort of first. There are plenty of people who give out free regions on OSGrid and on other grids too. Hell I even host a couple for friends for free. When I started OSG I was given free regions to use.
Also never ask this man to load any of my OARs on his grid because from what I hear he refuses to do that stating the fact that too much of my content is out there already. So apparently there is some sort of agenda he has yet I don’t know what it is.


Free Open Grid
» http://freeopengrid.org

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