Showing posts from 2011

Future of virtuality in-the-making: Reflections from Stanford University

I want to share a well written post titled, 'Future of virtuality in-the-making: Reflections from Stanford University' by Ates Gursimsek for the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation's Blog. Ates is a PhD researcher at Roskilde University, friend, and visiting scholar at Stanford University's H-STAR Institute who studies collaborative design and innovation in virtual worlds.
Ates states, "my observations have introduced me the rising culture of technological and social innovation through collaboration and co-creation in Silicon Valley (SV), as well as research and development studies on these emerging Web technologies, focusing on social sciences, humanities and educational studies, at Stanford University." Check it out.
Here are videos covering a couple things he worked on and experienced while visiting Silicon Valley.

Tesekkur ederim for all the great info Ates. I look forward to seeing where your research takes us!


So this August in Vancouver, Canada was SIGGRAPH 2011. SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) is the annual conference on computer graphics (CG) convened by the ACMSIGGRAPH organization and this was the first time it was held in Canada. The conference was attended by tens of thousands of computer professionals and had a strong presence of Canadian companies, developers, and schools (go figure).

As usual, it had great sessions and a busy exhibit floor. I am thrilled to report that the Web3D Consortium BoFs were standing room only with people packed deep and spilling out the doors as there was a huge amount of interest in X3Dom and the current state of X3D for augmented and mixed reality. The WebGL sessions also presented to a full house. Truly a great event for web3D in general.
As a fan of digital fabrication, I was happy to see companies like Shapeways, and 3D printer machine sellers there showing off their services and products. There were also a lot …

Building our 3D web with OurBricks

For years I have been wanting to see 3D on the web become ubiquitous and with Katalabs' OurBricks, I am closer than ever to seeing that dream come true.

Leveraging the power of WebGL and its supported browsers, OurBricks allows users to examine a full 3D version of any model uploaded to the site with no need for any plug-in. Visitors to the site can download content, embed it in any webpage as easy as embedding a Youtube video, or drop it into Katalabs' multi-user 3D sandbox for a 'virtual world' type experience.

OurBricks seems the ideal solution for 3D artist that want to share their creations. Countless times I have seen on other sites where artists can share their 3D model, in the form of a 2D image, for peer review and "Can you render this model from a different angle," appears somewhere in the comments section. Now that problem is solved!

The OurBricks platform supports the following 3D file formats: COLLADA, OBJ, FBX, DXF, and KMZ. There is an option th…

Unboxing the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and augmented reality

I just received in the mail my Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone. This is the first PlayStation certified Android smartphone, hence it is also known as the PlayStation phone.
The phone has a slide-out game pad, sports the Qualcomm Scorpion processor clocked at 1GHz (which runs alongside the on-board Adreno GPU and 380MB RAM), has a 4 inch backlit LCD screen with a resolution of 480x854, a 5.1-megapixel camera with auto focus and flash, and runs the Android OS Gingerbread.

I won the phone from a party Qualcomm had during the Game Developers Conference 2011 for their new Snapdragon platform.

I haven't won anything like this before so I decided to make my first unboxing video. Yeah unboxing videos are silly, so I decided to spruce mine up with a little bit of augmented reality.

I need a couple days to test drive this thing for a proper review. Stay tuned and thanks Qualcomm!

WebGL Camp #3

On June 10 at the Google Campus in Mountain View, California, the third WebGL Camp took place. For those that need a refresher on WebGL visit here. MC Henrik Bennetsen of OurBricks and Kenneth Russell from Google hosted WebGL Camp #3, a full day of presentations, demos, and conversations about this developing graphics API.
Session videos in order of the agenda.

Rachid El Guerrab - Human Engines

Tony Parisi

Tim Johansson - Opera

Altered Qualia - three.js

Remi Arnaud - Screampoint

Vangelis Kokkevis - Google

Henrik Bennetsen - Katalabs

Aleksandar Rodic - Chrysaora and

Neil Trevett - Khronos & NVIDIA

Nicolas Garcia Belmonte - Sencha

John Pywtorak - SRI

Kenneth Russell - Google & WebGL working group chair

Thanks to Ken, Henrik, and all the presenters for such a great informative camp.

Talking heads!

Cool combination of the Kinect and an avatar from Bitmanagement Software GmbH!

IVN from Bitmanagement Software GmbH on Vimeo.

Where A.R.E. you in 2011?

This video covers the Augmented Reality Event 2011 last week in Santa Clara, California. A nice variety of people from all over the world shared stories of AR related success, vision, and technologies. I will do a proper write up soon.

Thanks again Ori and Tish!

A meetup with no-plugin required, thanks WebGL!

April 28th was the first WebGL Developer Meetup here in the Bay area with a great mix from industry titans to garage developers. Managed by the Khronos group, WebGL is a web-based graphics library that extends the capability of the JavaScript programming language to allow it to generate interactive 3D graphics within any compatible web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari).

Web3D veteran and my fellow Meetup co-organizer Tony Parisi introduced Neil Trevett, President of Khronos & VP Mobile Content at NVidia, who presented on 'What is WebGL?'

Henrik Bennetsen gave a product demonstration on OurBricks. OurBricks lets you discover, interact with and share 3D content right in your browser. Think of it as a 3D warehouse where you can freely examine the model and much more. A great site for 3D modelers that want to share their work with others. A proper write up on OurBricks will be coming soon but do check out their website and the video below.

Closing demonstrations came from Kennet…

The Elements of Argon

Last month I got the opportunity to meet up with augmented reality veteran Blair MacIntyre. Blair directs the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech, and his research focuses on educational, entertainment and gaming applications of augmented and mixed reality environments, especially those that use personal displays (ie. ranging from see-through head-worn displays to video-mixed handheld displays) to directly augment a user's perception of their environment. Hear my audio interview with him in the video below.

Blair's group at Georgia Tech has released some really great AR applications and games including ARhrrr- an augmented reality zombie shooter built in collaboration with Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Blair has recently released the Argon augmented reality browser. Argon is the first open platform for delivering mobile AR that supports web and GIS standards. It uses a framework called KHARMA (KML/HTML Augmented Reality Mobile Architecture). The framework use…

Autodesk finally brings real-time 3D to the AEC Indutry

Autodesk recently released Showcase, a real-time 3D presentation and rendering software for the AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction) Industry. Showcase allows architects, designers, engineers, and managers the ability to import 3D CAD data (mainly Autodesk formats) into an virtual environment for creating 2D image renderings, movies, and real-time navigation of the 3D model.

Showcase has been in the Autodesk Labs for some time now (previously called Project Newport). I remember seeing this video from 2009 where they used a much cooler interface to show it off.

Although I feel that Autodesk is a tad late to the real-time 3D party, Showcase will help those in the AEC Industry become more familiar with real-time 3D for architectural visualization. I would still recommend other tools and technologies to those that want interactive 3D environments, but this is a step in the right direction for Autodesk. I am sure my friend Jon Brouchoud at ARCH Virtual is happy to see more tool…

The World at My Finger Tips

So now that we have a Microsoft Kinect at the office (thanks Beesley), here is the first video of me using it to control navigation on digital globe X3D Earth. The display is on our Spatial View 3D projection, no glasses needed, TV for a whole new dimension of coolness.

I have to admit that controller free navigation is the way to go when zooming around the planet. I just need to tweak some of the gesture controls and get the whole globe file local so it doesn't take so long to load and tile. Those familiar with my work I am sure can guess where this is going. For those that don't like guessing, stay tuned!

A week of the Game Developers Conference 2011

GDC 2011 just finished last week and wow do I have a game developer hangover! What an insane week of intense sessions on gaming, walking the expo floor, aisle conversations, meetings, and great parties.
This year I was in on a media pass and got full access to the latest and greatest from the game industry. No I didn't get the Google Chrome Notebooks or Motorola Xooms they passed out to the entire audience of certain sessions, but by far this year's show was the best for things I am interested in.
Even though I am not a game developer per se, there were plenty of sessions in areas of interest. The Kinect had several sessions, there was a full day of Unity3D, a few sessions about augmented reality, and some on web3D technologies.
A bonus of being media, I got the chance to participate in new product/game releases.

Ogmento had a location based multi-player AR game for iPhone that GDC attendees could play called Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary. Find out more about the game here.

A Hadouken good time!!!!

I got the opportunity to attend the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Launch Party in San Francisco.

This was my first game launch party and what a fun time it was. The event was hosted by David Banner at the Mezzanine in downtown San Francisco. Music from DJ Qbert played to a packed house with live appearances from Hieroglyphics, Killah Priest and surprise guest Ghostface Killah.

Pictures from the event can be seen here. Tak Hannah!!

Shopping around for uses with Augmented Reality

So I was recently exposed to the post Augmented Reality Finds a Place to Fit: Shopping! The article states, "Two recent AR implementations show promise, however, by adding value and actually demonstrating how useful the technology can be." The author of the post is referring to Converse's Sampler application for AppleiOS devices and a TryOnBathingSuit application created by ImmediaC. With such an endorsement, I had to check these apps out.

Review: Converse's Sampler application
Perhaps I am biased as I work with the technology and know what is possible with it, but I am not impressed with this application at all. Sure once I activate the app I can see how the sneaker will look on my foot with a superimposed image, but I can see how a sneaker will look on my coffee cup or anything else, as it is just that, a superimposed image. It floats in the middle of the live camera feed. There isn't any form of tracking or foot recognition. I wouldn't say FAIL on this app,…