Monday, October 27, 2008
This video shows the Cobalt metaverse browser being tested on a 13-foot by 5-foot multi-touch visualization wall equipped with six high-definition projectors located at the Renaissance Computing Institute engagement center at Duke University. The input drivers are being developed by Dr. Xunlei Wu so that users can directly manipulate high-resolution data using both hands and multiple fingers for a more natural and intuitive data exploration experience. In the video, Dr. Wu is using both gesture and touch to navigate through, and rearrange content between, two Cobalt virtual worlds.
The Renaissance Computing Institute brings together computer and discipline scientists, artists, humanists, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, state leaders and educators for collaborations designed to reshape science, the economy, the state of North Carolina and the world. RENCI leverages its expertise and resources in leading edge computing, networking and data technologies to ignite innovation and find solutions to previously intractable problems. Founded in 2004 as a major collaborative venture of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina, RENCI is a statewide virtual organization. For more, see www.renci.org.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Here is a prototype of an interactive CAVE unit being developed by Rich White in Kansas. In March of next year, the kids at Greenbush will be building their own very simple CAVE unit to run Cobalt for an even more immersive and engaging experience than they had using by running Cobalt on an interactive whiteboard.
Friday, October 24, 2008
The importer being worked on by Phua Khai Fong and Aik-Siong Koh is working nicely now. This is a comparison between a model loaded in SketchUp with the same model loaded into Cobalt. There are still some problems with texturing as they are working on getting material properties to import correctly. Its great to see the progress. This functionality will hopefully be incorporated into the next build. Thank you for your contribution!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Linden Lab has announced that its now going to be moving into the enterprise 3D collaboration space. It recently announced a new product called "Immersive Workspaces" which is basically an area in Second Life set aside for corporate meetings. That more secure area represents "a completely exclusive and secure experience, with no connectivity to the Second Life mainland." Their intent is to develop a complete collaboration experience for the enterprise. I guess that is Linden Lab's attempt to try and ensure that business meetings are not disrupted by griefers or by unwelcome barrages of flying penises. Looks like the enterprise virtual worlds space is getting a bit more crowded. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Another test of the new KMZ importer from Aik-Siong Koh. Note that the textures are mapping nicely onto the relatively complex model! Soon we will be able to import lots of content from Google's 3D Warehouse into Cobalt. That will be nice...
Friday, October 17, 2008
Aik-Siong Koh and his team have been successful in creating a KMZ file importer for Cobalt. Here is a screenshot from the first successful load of a rubber ducky with textures. This means that we will soon be able to import into Cobalt a wealth of 3D content from Google's 3D Warehouse. We will also be able to use the free version of SketchUp as a primary content creation tool. The importer will be included in an upcoming release. Stay tuned.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The Amelia Project is an effort by Portugese graduate student Filipe Santos to leverage Croquet/Cobalt as a way of helping young children to become empowered to collaborate, negotiate, and make decisions about the configuration of the real world spaces that they inhabit (playgrounds, classrooms, theatrical sets, etc.). The philosophy behind this project is to help enable a new culture of childhood in which children are more active participants in societal decision-making. Based out of Lisbon Portugal, the project takes its name from the primary school in Lisbon, Portugal, where the project originated. The video shows how the researchers are beginning to use Cobalt as a means of exploring the use of version control to help in managing various configuration proposals that are developed by the children who are proposing various configurations of a space. Using these versions, an instructor can help structure discussion and facilitate debate among the children.