Sunday, January 27, 2008
Project Wonderland is a new Java-based open source (Gnu GPL v2) toolkit for creating collaborative 3D virtual worlds. Sponsored by Sun Microsystems, Wonderland has many very powerful features that make it a potentially useful virtual machine-based platform for creating virtual worlds that organizations can rely on as places to conduct, as Sun says, "real business". Within Wonderland virtual worlds, users are able to communicate with high-fidelity, immersive audio, and can share live applications such as web browsers, OpenOffice documents, and games. This functionality is why Wonderland was recently chosen along with Second Life and Croquet as the immersive education platforms that will be receiving support from the Media Grid Institute. As with Second Life, Wonderland worlds are reliant on server infrastructures to support their basic use. By promoting the use of virtual worlds and giving away the client technology as open source, Sun is attempting to broadly increase demand for their servers. An interesting strategy...
Friday, January 25, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Gerry Bayne recorded this 15 minute interview with me at The Coalition for Networked Information's 2007 Fall Task Force Meeting. CNI is dedicated to supporting the transformative promise of networked information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity. You can learn more about the important work that CNI is doing at their web site.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
This past weekend, it was announced at The Boston Media-Grid Summit that the Immersive Education Initiative (see article on the initiative's goals) has selected Croquet as one of three official "next generation" immersive education platforms. The Immersive Education Initiative is an international collaboration of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia companies, and foundations that are working together to define and develop open standards, best practices, platforms, and communities of support for virtual reality and game-based learning and training systems. The other two immersive education platforms selected were Sun's open source Project Wonderland client and the now open source Second Life client.
What this all means is that the open source Croquet platform's value will become better known and that the Immersive Education Initiative will now direct both funding and programming resources towards the development and deployment of open source Croquet technologies and open source Croquet-based educational applications. Selection criteria for this important honor included the following: 1) support for the Windows and Macintosh operating systems; 2) availability as open source code; 3) vendor-neutral client and server architectures (no vendor lock-in); 4) stable and reliable runtime implementations; 5) integrated text chat and voice chat; 6) high resolution graphics; 7) multi-user support for collaboration; 8) highly customizable avatars that support high resolution graphics and body animation (gestures); and 9) support for user-created content.
The event in Boston was an invitation-only affair hosted and sponsored by the Grid Institute, the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College, and the City of Boston with participation from the Federation of American Scientists and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.