This Barco press release reports Microsoft and Barco have partnered for the design and implementation of a new collaborative meeting room in the Microsoft Technology Center Paris. From the press release: "Microsoft, a world leader in computer and software technology, and global visualization specialist Barco announce that they have partnered for the design and implementation of a new meeting room in the Microsoft Technology Center Paris. This room, named the Envisioning Center, is equipped with state-of-the-art collaboration technologies as part of a unified communication process.
This ScienceDaily article reports researchers at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's Facultad de Informática have developed a model for 3-D virtual learning environments based on an autonomous virtual tutor that detects collaboration. From the article: "There are two sides to collaborative learning: collaborating to learn and learning to collaborate. For this reason, learners may require guidance on both how to perform a task and on questions concerning collaboration.
The proposed model is based on analysing non-verbal communication about collaborative interaction that takes place while a task is performed. An avatar personifies the tutor in the learning process, which materializes in the visual framework provided by virtual environments, thereby supporting the collaboration process.
From this BBC News article: "The 3D web moved closer to reality as Mozilla, the developer of the Firefox browser, joined forces with graphics consortium Khronos. Khronos has set up a working group to create a standard for what it calls accelerated 3D graphics on the web. It could lead to widespread browser-based gaming as well as creating 3D environments in social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The aim is to produce a first public version within a year.
This ScienceDaily article talks about the European research programme UNITE who took on the challenge of creating a virtual platform that would let groups across Europe share existing test equipment and protocols. From the article: "The systems that let you zap a photo to a friend, or an astronomer to control a telescope continents away, require intensive simulation and testing. European research has now made those key steps far easier.
Two years ago, the European research programme UNITE took on the challenge of creating a virtual testbed that IT developers across Europe could use easily and effectively to fine-tune new devices and services, and make sure that they will interact smoothly with existing systems.
Without an improved testing and simulation infrastructure, it will be extremely difficult to achieve the “network of wireless networks” that communications researchers envision and hope to create.
From this Telegraph.co.uk article: " Sony has announced that its online virtual community, PlayStation Home, is coming to all PlayStation 3 owners on Dec 11.
The Second Life-like virtual world will provide PS3 users with a three-dimensional social gaming space in which to interact and communicate with other players.
Sony said the service would deliver "overwhelming visual graphics and rich gaming social experiences only possible on the PS3 platform."
Interactive Multimedia Technology
Technology Supported Human-World Interaction
This Emerging Technology Trends article takes a look at some collaborative virtual environments like the Virtual Dollhouse. From the article: "Engineers have been using collaborating tools in virtual reality environments for almost 20 years. Now, South Korean and Japanese researchers have tried to compare different experiences of users working together using the Virtual Dollhouse application where two people working together have to build a virtual dollhouse using virtual building blocks, a hammer, and nails. Some of them were in ‘traditional’ collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) using haptic technologies. Others were working over the Internet as well as over a local area network. They’ve concluded that users could still work together effectively over a network. But read more…
This David Orban's Blog post reports researchers at the Laboratory of Eidomatics at University of Milan, in cooperation with Eximia have developed a new immersive interface for visualizing Second Life environments and interacting with them. From the post: "Real 2nd Life an integrated system composed of a semi-circular screen, of almost 3 meters high, and 7 meters of diameter. The image of the live Second Life grid is spread on the screen through the use of four high luminosity Barco projectors, fed by multi-headed Matrox graphics cards, inserted in standard PCs running a specially recompiled Second Life client which introduces a stereoscopic image doubling calculating the depth of the image in real time.
This washingtonpost.com article takes a look at a Second Life lawsuit concerning six virtual merchants who are suing Thomas Simon of Queens, N.Y., for an undisclosed amount of money, claiming he stole the computer code for products they sell in their virtual stores. From the article: "Like the next installment of Terminator, we all knew this day was coming: the first-ever Second Life lawsuit. Sure, it involves people who aren't real stealing products that aren't real, in a virtual world that barely resembles our own. Still, this is America! Since when has reality been required for legal action?
A virtual character, or avatar, for all the virtual worlds in which people play is the goal of a joint project between IBM and Linden Lab.
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