[Video] Could 3D Projection Systems Transform Urban Landscapes?

February 25 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Culture   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

France-based Easy Web develops 3D video projection systems for 'monumental architecture', but could they be developing new cultural expectations for human-city interfaces where everything becomes a template?

via Laughing Squid Youtube

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VW 2008: Where are the Virtual Worlds Headed?

March 28 2008 / by Marisa Vitols / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Metaverse   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

Broadly popular virtual worlds are a relatively recent phenomenon, and yet have taken the real world by storm. It was just 2003 when Second Life opened its doors to the public – it has now grown to 13,018,921 residents (as of today) with millions of Linden dollars being exchanged every month.

Virtual worlds evolved from basic online communities and chatrooms. From these roots sprouted Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs) and Multi-User Shared Habitats (MUSHes), like the first 3D shooter game Maze War. Inspired by UK-born MUDs of the late 1970s like AberMUD, the first Internet-based MUD, early virtual worlds of the 1990s were solely text-based with limited graphics and often used a Terminal Interface. The launch of CyberTown in 1995, the immediate success of The Sims Online in 2002, and the growing success of Second Life sewed the seeds for a market that has recently begun to skyrocket. Due also in part to the steady popularization of MMORPGs, it didn’t take long for the rest of the world to catch on to the potential of such virtual environments. With virtual worlds popping up everywhere, the roster now includes World of Warcraft, Multiverse, There.com, MetaPlace, Club Penguin and many more.

This year’s Virtual Worlds Conference in New York City promises to be a playground for those interested in the Metaverse. The two day conference agenda covers the business, operations and legal issues for companies seeking to monetize their intellectual property with virtual worlds.

“Virtual worlds are rapidly reshaping the toy, media, and entertainment industries,” said Christopher Sherman, Executive Director of the Virtual Worlds Management. “This year’s Virtual Worlds Conference keynoters are individuals who are leading the charge, leveraging existing content, brands and intellectual property to create new, high-margin virtual worlds that excite, entertain and engage audiences.”


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U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee Holding Hearing on Virtual Worlds

March 28 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Metaverse   Year: 2008   Rating: 2

On the heels of Singapore’s announcement that it plans to throw some serious money at the development of mixed-reality applications the slower U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce has scheduled a hearing on the issues surrounding virtual worlds.

The session, titled Online Virtual Worlds: Applications and Avatars in a User-Generated Medium, will be held April 1 at 9:30 a.m. and live webcast streamed for those who wish to view the proceedings from home (or at work). It seems likely that the potential economic value, catalytic effects and security ramifications of user populated virtual worlds will be discussed. No doubt this is just the beginning of broader federal recognition of the power of this rapidly diffusing new medium.

I will be eager to see what transpires and then to discuss the ramifications here and with all of the virtual world officionados converging at Virtual Worlds 2008 next week.

(via Virtual Worlds News)

Intuitive 3D Camera Controller for Second Life Lowers Bar for Learning to Fly

April 21 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Metaverse   Year: 2008   Rating: 2 Hot

Sick of using an obscure set of keyboard strokes to control your avatar? Have no fear, the 3D camera / semi-haptic interface for Second Life has arrived.

Developed by Mitch Kapor, technology investor and Chair of Linden Lab, and Phillipe Bossut, the new interface allows you to use your actual body, much like on Kamen’s Segway, to move your avatar through virtual space. Simply lean forward to move forward, lift your hands to elevate and fly, place your hands behind your back while descending for a graceful landing.

Check out this demo to see the new interface in action:

Clearly these are just the very first steps for this novel interface that promises to make avatar navigation more intuitive, opening the door to non-technical people of all demographics, lowering the complexity barrier to virtual worlds adoption (much like the Nintendo Wii controller). (cont.)

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Understanding Islam Through Virtual Worlds

January 15 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Metaverse   Year: 2009   Rating: 1

Understanding Islam Through Virtual WorldsI am a big fan of the Meetup system because of how easy it has made it to locate like-minded people and compelling events.  Still, every now and then there's a diamond-in-the-rough gathering such as this month's NYC Metaverse Meetup, Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds, that simply stands out as a must-go.

On January 29 at 6pm, Carnegie Council Senior Fellows Joshua S. Fouts and Rita J. King will present findings from their Understanding Islam Through Virtual Worlds project. After a year of exploring digital Islamic communities, Fouts and King conclude that engaging with people in virtual worlds who self-identify as Muslim can be part of a broader public diplomacy strategy to foster inclusive perspectives on religion, society, and coexistence.

How can virtual worlds serve as new windows of insight into real life social dynamics?

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