Showing posts from 2009

Tis the Season....!

Happy Holidays and best wishes in the New Year!
Now back to tracking Santa on Google Earth!

Augment Our Reality: AR Dev Camp

Augmented reality has become quite the buzz word recently since mobile apps and print marketing are increasing the implementation of the technology to the mainstream. Well documented open source toolkits are allowing developers to create a swarm of AR applications that bring this way of accessing information to everything from your Android/iPhone to your Flash-based website.

As with any emerging tech, there comes the time that the community (developers, hobbyist, entrepreneurs, businesses, academia, governments) has to come together to address and solve the issues needed to further advance the technology. So on December 5, 2009 was the first ever Augmented Reality Developer Camp held at the HackerDojo in Mountain View, California.
"After nearly 20 years in the research labs, Augmented Reality is taking shape as one of the next major waves of Internet innovation, overlaying and infusing the physical world with digital media, information, and experiences. We believe AR must be fundam…

Saving the best for last - FountainBlue's Virtual World Event

So Friday Sept.25 on the heels of the Engage Expo was FountainBlue's Annual Virtual World Conference "Virtual Worlds: Where We Were, Where We're Going, What Does It Mean to You?" The conference, held down at the Sun Microsystems campus, showcased presentations and panel discussions that featured key stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and investors in the virtual world space.
The event kicked off with a presentation from host Michael Gialis, New Business Development for Sun Microsystem's Lab and Chief Technology Office. Michael is also one of the founders of the Virtual Worlds Roadmap Group and his presentation included results from a recent Virtual Worlds Roadmap industry survey.

After Michael was CTO of Masher Media Barry Holroyd. Later in the day, Masher Media's virtual world was presented and I must say that it has a great art direction, looks fun for those of all ages (I will play it), and is another great example of Unity3D technology f…

Engaged all week long

So this week is full of back to back virtual world events, catching up with friends in the industry, and making new ones. Mid-week kicked off the Engage! Expo 2009. Engage! Expo strives to be where companies learn how to combine their existing business with the unparalleled engagement opportunities and new revenue streams of user engagement online.

The expo had session throughout the day that were broken into the categories of:
*Virtual Goods Conference - the leading event for businesses seeking to understand and maximize business strategies using virtual goods, items and gifts;
*Digital Law Conference - provides a detailed examination of the legal issues raised by these technologies and offers key insight into where the industry is headed and what the associated legal implications are;
*Social Media Strategies - the social media track seeks to help business understand the best practices, current trends, and effective strategies of social media and user engagement;
*3D Tr…

A quick response to QR and Data Matrix code.

So lately I have been seeing more Data Matrix and QR code around. Data Matrix and QR code is a 2D barcode consisting of black and white "cells" or modules arranged in either a square or rectangular pattern that represent encoded information. Unlike augmented reality markers, data matrix code only represents text or raw data.

Data Matrix (DM) symbols are rectangular in shape and usually square, they are made of cells: little elements that represent bits. Depending on the situation a "light" module is a 0 and a "dark" module is a 1, or vice versa. Every Data Matrix is composed of two solid adjacent borders in an "L" shape (called the "finder pattern") and two other borders consisting of alternating dark and light "cells" or modules (called the "timing pattern"). Within these borders are rows and columns of cells encoding information. The finder pattern is used to locate and orient the symbol while the timing pattern pr…

iPhone Developer Camp 3

This past weekend I attended my first iPhone Developer Camp. This year was the third annual iPhone Developer Camp, IDC3, which was developers, UI designers, testers, and other that came to share ideas, collaborate, and make some pretty cool apps. The event encourages individuals at all levels to continue to stretch the development boundaries of the iPhone and iPod touch.

Held in Sunnyvale at Yahoo's main campus, the main focus of the event seemed to be the Hackathon competition. Saturday and Sunday were nothing but people with heads down on computers as the Hackathon is an exhibition of attendee and those joining via web projects and was a showcase of some of the best iPhone and iTouch innovators.

The event had great keynotes and even a musical guest BT who performed Friday night. He came back on Saturday to speak about his app called Sonifi. I have been playing with this $4.99 music mixing app and it is fun. It needs more songs as it only comes with one, but BT announced that m…

The world of Ancient Mayas in VR

The Maya are probably the best-known of the classical civilizations of Mesoamerica. Originating in the Yucatán around 2600 B.C., they rose to prominence around A.D. 250 in present-day southern Mexico, Guatemala, northern Belize and western Honduras. Building on the inherited inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations, the Maya developed astronomy, calendrical systems and hieroglyphic writing.

The Maya were noted as well for elaborate and highly decorated ceremonial architecture, including temple-pyramids, palaces and observatories, all built without metal tools. This ancient civilization has captured the imagination of millions and one web3D builder named Ladin who decided to recreate elements of this culture to share with the 3D web.

Ladin has built an incredible website The World of Ancient Maya in Virtual Reality. This site is a great mixture of 2D and 3D information and the way more websites should be. One can navigate the 2D site like any other with the option to explore variou…

The Kira Institute presents SL avatar MetaverseOne Inventor

The Kira Institute, a nonprofit organization in Second Life, focuses on combining the elements of universality and personal involvement. Kira is exploring the use of virtual worlds to develop new forms of research and education, rooted in scientific and scholarly traditions but unconfined by the usual disciplinary and academic boundaries or by geographical limitations. Virtual worlds are media where professionals, amateurs, teachers, and students, from all over the globe, can engage in open dialog. In this setting, Kira facilitates peer based collaborations in fields as diverse as science, art, philosophy, and other ways of knowing.

As their website describes it, science is basically universal in the way it is practiced, largely independent of nationality or personal belief system, where personal involvement is specifically discouraged. Systems aimed at developing and guiding personal aspirations, from religions to ideologies to humanistic programs, do encourage involvement, but at the…

14th Annual Web3D Symposium '09

So right now is the 14th annual international Web3D Symposium. This is the Web3D Consortium's annual event sponsored by ACM SIGGRAPH (in cooperation with EuroGraphics) held this year in Darmstadt, Germany at Fraunhofer IGD on June 15-17. This symposium celebrates a decade of innovation and interoperability through the 3D Web open standards.
The Symposium will showcase Web3D Consortium’s standard X3D, the only open, royalty-free and ISO-certified technology available today for interactive 3D graphics on the World Wide Web. Use of X3D systems has increased steadily throughout the world, delivering durable applications in industry, science, medicine, culture, entertainment and education. Indeed, worlds and scenarios authored over ten years ago still run today and are faster than ever. X3D systems have a proven track record of protecting content and have the process in place to support projects that require their content lifetime to exceed 50 years. Because X3D is a direct evolution…

Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds

The Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds (FCVW) consists of members from government (federal, state & local, & international), academia, and corporate sectors. The Consortium supports individuals and organizations to improve government collaboration through the use of virtual worlds to enrich collaborative online experiences. Although not heavily involved, I have enjoyed the interaction so far with this group.

Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds from Eric Hackathorn.Although a good chunk of their work so far is presented in Second Life (as one can see in this video), there are a growing number from this group and other federal agencies that are looking at the current 3D web open standards for use. From those I talk to with federal agencies, open and standards are a must when dealing with serious government applications and funding sources. Uncle Sam isn't going to spend millions on developing training tools in SL or any other company owned platform. The GSA is a prime ex…

Metaverse U '09 - All about the open virtual space

This past weekend was the second iteration of Metaverse U put on by Henrik Bennetsen at Stanford University. The Metaverse U conference took place at Stanford University on May 29th and 30th. The goal of this years conference was to explore the cutting edge applications of virtual worlds and the open platforms that drive them.

Henrik gathered an impressive lineup of speakers and I will embed their videos here once they go online. Some highlights from the presentations:

Sirikata, Stanford's open source platform for virtual worlds, had a high representation this year with a demo that showed some of its editing features.

Jeffrey T. Schnapp (Stanford University) talked about cultural heritage with virtual worlds stating "museums are the original 3D world" and the need to embrace (inter)active models of educational programming with an emphasis on bottom-up counterparts to traditional top-down approaches.

John Hurliman (Intel) presented Cable Beach, a service based architecture fo…

3D My TV Please

So every now and then we here at the office do get some pretty awesome toys, er... research hardware for our projects. Our latest addition has got to be one of the most amazing products I have seen in a while. It is a custom 47" Spatial View 3D Monitor. This 3D monitor brings images, videos, and 3D objects out of the screen without the need for special 3D glasses.

Hardware-wise this monitor is a modified top of the line LG television with a parallax barrier screen attached to the front of it. Hook it up to a computer with a relatively new graphics card, install the Spatial View software, and all is ready to go. The software is Power Player 3.0, Spatial View's own player for displaying videos, images, and other content in 3D. A good amount of examples come with the software, but to create your own content, videos and images have to be created a certain way for the full coming out of the screen 3D effect.

The best feature (drum roll) is that Power Player 3.0 supports the web3D …

When in Rome... support your 3D web standards

I came across these two examples on how Humanities, Art, and Natural Sciences are adopting 3D web open standard technology for preserving and sharing cultural heritage in Rome.

1. Rome Reborn - Rome Reborn is an international initiative whose goal is the creation of 3D digital models illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome from the first settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 550).

Starting on June 11, 2007, when the model of ancient Rome was first shown publicly at a ceremony in Rome, a number of video fly-thru and static images of the model were posted for free public viewing online. In August, 2008, the alpha version of Rome Reborn 2.0 was demonstrated at SIGGRAPH held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In November, 2008, the latest version of Rome Reborn 1.0 was published to the Internet in Google Earth.

On 12 November 2008, Michael Jones (CTO of Google Earth) in partnership with Joel Myers (…

Ring the bell, school is in - Web3D Education Initiative

Learning about the 3D web open standard has never really been an easy thing in the past. Tutorials were scattered over the web, the Web3D Consortium website didn't offer much help to those new to programming, there were few books that covered the open standard such as Core Web3D, the VRML 2.0 Handbook (great books), and no books that covered the new standard X3D. If you were a 3D modeler looking to author web3D content there were few tools out there to help you do it and none of these had in depth tutorials. As someone wanting to learn X3D, this is what drove me to get active with the Consortium eight years ago. I found there were students everywhere that wanted to learn web3D technologies for credit but where and how? So in the past it was difficult for newbies, but now this is no longer the case.

In 2007 X3D: 3D Graphics for Web Authors by Don Brutzman and Leonard Daly was published. This book is highly recommended resource for programmers that makes learning X3D undaunting. In …