Tagged: augmented-reality

Metaverse U, February 16-17 at Stanford

I’ll be out in California for a few days in mid-February, mostly for the Metaverse U. event that’s being held at Stanford. This is a spin-off or evolution of the State of Play conferences that originated at New York Law School, I believe. Should be some very interesting brains there, all trained on virtual worlds and what goes on within them. Details after the jump. Official announcement below:

ANNOUNCEMENT: Metaverse U Conference at Stanford University

* WHERE: Annenberg Auditorium, Stanford University
* WHEN: Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of February 2008
* WEBSITE: http://metaverseu.stanford.edu Continue reading

Mike Liebhold at Nov. 8 Metaverse Meetup

Mike Liebhold was one of the participants at the original Metaverse Roadmap Summit last year, which produced the Metaverse Roadmap Overview, and I remember him as one of the more forward-thinking and impressive presenters. Now, he’s presenting tomorrow at the first Metaverse Meetup at Stanford University, talking about “3D data for real world virtual worlds.” Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area — and you can also attend via the virtual world of Second Life Details below, from organizer Henrik Bennetsen: Continue reading

South by Southwest Season: Pimp That Panel

It’s South by Southwest season again, or at least the run-up to it. For the last two years I’ve headed to Austin for the excellent South by Southwest Interactive festival, a fun week of geeks and great conversations that takes place each spring in one of the greatest small cities in America. The process of choosing who gets to take the stage there, though, starts early. Hugh Forest, who runs the place, has just posted this year’s SXSW Panel-Picker, the mechanism by which a fair portion of the panels are chosen. I’ve proposed two, which I’m going to insist you all go vote on forthwith. Here are the titles, links and descriptions:

• Presence: Building the Social Web
“Despite social networking, the Web remains a lonely place: a billion people browse it, each one alone. This session examines efforts to make the Web a more social medium by bringing “presence” online. Help us imagine a Web that works less like a library and more like a multiplayer game.”

• Kicking Virtual Ass and Taking Avatar Names
“What is it like to run the virtual world’s most notorious tabloid? Where do you draw the line between good taste and bad, between information and sensation, between virtual and real — if such a line exists? Explore the role of a very free press in the evolution of online worlds. Dual presentation with [Second Life Herald founder] Peter Ludlow.” Continue reading

IBM Sensors Link Real World and Virtual World

IBM creates real-world links in the virtual world of Second LifeUgoTrade has a lengthy write-up of some of the work IBM has been doing in the virtual world of Second Life lately. [Via IBM’s Rob Smart.] The blog entry is all about creating links between the real world and the virtual world, so that sensor data and other information can be visualized in Second Life on a real-time basis. In the screenshot above, “The blue balls with white designs represent active Bluetooth devices. The pyramids scattered about the floor represent other people working, with the color designating things like physical presence or telepresence,” according to UgoTrade. This is just one kind of application that could start to make Second Life a much more useful place. I’d love to see entities and conditions being tracked around SL in real time. Why? Because there’s a ton of information to be extracted from a digital environment, which can then be applied to real-world problems from logistics to marketing to sociology, you name it. That said, this won’t start to get really interesting until we have a nearly plug-n-play solution. Which is probably one of the things IBM is working on. Keep your sensors tuned.

Hamsters Are Gamers, Humans Are Pacman

Check out this video of a game called Metazoa Ludens that you and your hamster can play together. The hamsters apparently dig it. (There’s also a PC World story with more details.) It’s a bit like Mice Arena, only perhaps not quite as much fun, since in Metazoa Ludens your avatar isn’t being chased by a giant rodent, as in Mice Arena. Still, it’s an interesting use of 3pointD-related technologies, and it comes from the cool Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, who also brought us Human Pacman, which is possibly even cooler, and features full-on Rainbows End style “Head Mounted Displays” that show you the playing field in front of you, as below:

Head-mounted display view of Human Pacman

Metaverse Roadmap Report Previewed on CNet

Kudos to CNet writer Dan Terdiman for his scoop of the report that’s been emerging from the Metaverse Roadmap summit we attended last spring. Dan has a nice story up today on a draft version of the report he obtained. It doesn’t seem to be online yet, nor has it been distributed to participants (of which I was one), so I can’t link it for you, but check out Dan’s story, as well as some of last spring’s coverage for an idea of what it contains. I’ll blog it some more once I see it myself. Which will probably be sometime next week, as I have a wedding to go to tomorrow in Rio, though this seemed worth taking a moment to blog. Let me know what you think if you see it before I do.

Microsoft Funds Very Cool SensorMap Projects

Microsoft will push the development of geospatial and mapping applications with “unrestricted funding” totaling $1.1 million that has been offered to 21 winners chosen from among more than 140 university teams that responded to a recent Microsoft Research request for proposals. The awards are made for one year.

What I like about this program is that it’s focused squarely on how mapping and geospatial functions can be used to improve our physical lives. According to a press release, “The university research teams aim to study and map the physical world in real time, to push the technological boundaries of local search, and to understand the potential societal impact of these kinds of geographic technologies. New solutions ultimately resulting from the research are expected to yield rich and diverse benefits, such as helping tourists find affordable restaurants with the shortest lines, or helping scientists understand changes in the ecology of biological systems under the threat of climate change.” [Emphasis added.]

Projects already in the works include layering current environmental conditions into a mirror world like Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, or allowing climatologists and other scientists to examine data over the long term to track pollution and climate changes. Other projects take in what we at 3pointD would call augmented reality, combining data from tiny real-world sensors, the Internet and “a variety of other sources” with map information and geographic imagery. There’s also a researcher who’s contemplating recreating his movements in a mirror world so that friends and family can keep up with him remotely. Now that’s my kind of mapping. Continue reading

3pointD Turns 1: On The Metaverse Ahead

No April Fool’s joke this: 3pointD turned one year old today! It was in the early hours (early minutes, actually) of April 1, 2006, that I posted my first Hello, World! here. Something like 1,400 posts later (can that be? WordPress must be over-counting) and our mission remains the same: “At its most fundamental level, it’s about connecting people in new ways, and about giving them the tools to get more out of not just the Web but out of the real world around them.”

That’s still true, but in the year since then, the 3pointD space (aka the metaverse) has begun to resolve itself a bit — which is perhaps not surprising, since the word didn’t actually mean anything a year ago. What I’ve been trying to describe over the last year is the general direction of the future of connectivity. I still feel, as I wrote last March on my old blog, Walkerings, that “Web 2.0 is over like a hipster neighborhood when The Gap moves in,” and that there’s a new neighborhood to be colonized. That’s of course an overstatement for effect, but I don’t think it’s off the mark. Over the next several (many?) years, the most exciting developments in technology are going to be those that leverage our ever-increasing digital access to places both real and virtual to develop better connections between people in various ways.

The question is, What’s that going to look like? I hate making predictions, but as my birthday present to the blog and its readers, I’ve just spent the evening going out on a limb. You can read the details below or you can jump directly to a brief, fun scenario at the end of the post. Enjoy. Continue reading

SXSW Xcript: User-Creation in Gamespace

It’s Sunday at 5:00pm in Austin and I’m at the panel: On the Edge of Independent User-Creation in Gamespace

Moderator: Jerry Paffendorf of the Electric Sheep Company
Panelists:
John Bacus of Google
Futurist Jamais Cascio of Open the Future
Raph Koster of Areae

Paffendorf: Imagine being pumped up right now. Welcome. What I work on: My profession is being a futurist in the video gaming and virtual world space. I survey and think ahead about what’s happening with various simulations. I’m actually on staff, which is a nice position, with Electric Sheep Company, about a year old start-up that builds 3D content, experiences and software for virtual worlds that allow users to create content. We work primarily in Second Life. Invites audience to take stage to fill a fourth position on the panel.

In our business, I have a lot of freedom to lead and create public conversations. I define what’s happening in that space as the metaverse, which I do borrow from Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. Last year I helped to start a research project with the Acceleration Studies Foundation called the Metaverse Roadmap: What is happening between video games, virtual worlds, gemapping and the web? We kind of came up with a definition: 4 components: Virtual worlds. Mirror Worlds. Augmented reality technolgoies bringing virtual activity to physical locations. Lifelogging, having a persistent identity in various sites and things you do, turning yourself into an avatar.

What happens when video games and gamespaces become more like the Web, in that anyone can create their own spaces and games, then connect to those with avatar identity, then we have the real practical immersive virtual world of communities online. Continue reading

Philips Ambient Tech to SL via Rivers and SDK

Philips amBX technology licensed to Rivers Run Red for use in the virtual world of Second Life

According to a press release on the amBX site of UK consumer products company Philips (which features the virtual world of Second Life as the most prominent thing on its home page), Philips has licensed its amBX technology to metaverse services firm Rivers Run Red, which will “produce a dedicated amBX-enabled environment” for Second Life. What’s that? Read on. Continue reading

RFID Powder Developed By Hitachi

RFID powder developed by Hitachi

Progress Bar flags a post from Pink Tentacle (which is itself a translation of a Japanese news story) about a new micro-miniaturized radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that’s been developed by Hitachi. The new chip is 0.05 x 0.05 millimeters — that’s 1/20th of a millimeter on either side, or small enough to exist as a powder or dust, and possibly even as a floating cloud. Each can store a 38-digit number, which means you could actually get quite a bit of information into a cloud or dusting of such chips. The pic above (borrowed from Pink Tentacle) shows an older chip on the left, and the new chips on the right, next to a human hair. While Pink Tentacle mentions them in connection with embedding them in sheets of paper, that doesn’t even begin to touch the potential for this kind of thing. I’m much more interested in more 3D-focused applications that these could be used for. Continue reading