Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Saba Kawas from Jordan has been working on an Open Cobalt-related project for her Masters in Design at North Carolina State University. Her focus is on Animation and International Media. She recently presented a poster session at SigGraph on "hyper-learning interface developing navigation toolsets for virtual environments. Working with Open Cobalt, Saba's poster session discussed two core areas of her research: the design and development of a media explanation generator and the process of enabling contextualized hyper-linking Open Cobalt virtual exhibit spaces. This work has been published at the ACM Portal as part of Siggraph proceedings. It is great to see that, even before its alpha release, the Open Cobalt technology is starting to be used as a tool to enable such exploratory work with virtual worlds.
Nickolay Suslov has recently contributed code for a stereoscopic 3D anaglyph filter to the Open Cobalt contributions repository. These changes make it possible for the user to view images are made up of two color layers, superimposed, but offset with respect to each other to produce a depth effect. This will allow you to view Open Cobalt workspaces in stereoscopic 3D using red/cyan stereo glasses (anaglyph glasses).
Saturday, April 3, 2010
On March 31st, Vivaty announced that it will completely shut down its social virtual world operation on April 16th. Co-founder and CEO Jay Weber said that the company will give users "about 2 weeks for our creative users to take snapshots and videos of their awesomely decorated scenes — once things shut down, the 3D content will be gone". Too bad all those assets are not retrievable...
Like many other companies in this space, Vivaty planned to make money through an in-world currency. Jay Weber continues: “Vivaty.com is a rather expensive site to run, much more than a regular web site, and Vivaty the company has been running out of money for some time. Our business model was to earn money through Vivabux sales, but that has never come close to covering our costs. We tried for months to find a bigger partner that would support the site, but that didn’t work out.” He goes on to say that "we understand that some of you have recently bought Vivabux on the assumption that Vivaty.com would be around for some time, so we are going to issue refunds for Paypal purchases made since February 1, 2010. I’m sorry we can’t refund any transactions through Gambit offers, including cell phone purchases."
Vivaty's closure is the latest in a string of virtual world shutdowns that have included Lively, Forterra, Metaplace, Wonderland, and There.com. These are tough times for virtual world businesses that find it hard to generate adequate revenue in an online world where people have become accustomed to getting things for free.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The GENI Collaborative Interactive Infrastructure (GCii) is a prototype network operations center (NOC) being developed by RENCI Senior Research Scientist Chris Heermann and others at both RENCI and at Duke University. Based on Open Cobalt technology, GCii visually presents a research network and all of its components in a collaborative, real-time virtual space. This allows researchers, engineers, infrastructure providers and system administrators to come together in a virtual environment containing shared views of various resources so that they may manage and monitor both networking and distributed system resources. GCii is designed to make it easier for GENI experimenters to more easily and efficiently share network resource information across administrative domains using a set of common communication tools. This application is an excellent example of how the flexible Open Cobalt system can be used to support serious scientific research and collaboration.