Archive for the ‘SecondLife’ Category

Tomorrow Space
5 March 2008

From Troy McConaghy:

One of the problems with getting into Qwaq or Second Life is that you
have to get an account, download a special client/viewer program, then
learn the interface – not ideal if you just want to listen to a talk!

Well, on Monday, a new virtual world opened its doors to the public.
It’s called “Tomorrow Space” and is made by a Seattle startup company
named Transmutable. The underlying code (Ogoglio) is open source.

The thing that interests me about Tomorrow Space is that it’s all Web-
based. You visit the virtual world using your Web browser. If you
want to invite someone, you just send them the URL of the space you’re
in, then they visit that URL with their Web browser and appear in the
space with a default avatar. (Aside: they may have to install the
Java3D plugin. If they’re on a Mac, they already have it.)

Transmutable only charges the renter of the room (6 dollars per day,
and only on days when you want it). Their guests all come for free.

They have voice chat, but I think it’s still “beta” and you have to
pay a bit extra. Text chat is free.
We might do a little test meeting there in
the next little while. If this interests you, you can register for a
free account at https://transmutable.com/signin.html – let us know
your account name.

Here are some questions I asked Trevor, the founder:

* Can I show my PowerPoint slides on a wall screen? If yes, how?

Yes, though you’ll need to save the slides as images which most apps
(Powerpoint and Keynote included) can do. Basically, you can right
mouse click (control-click on Mac) on a screen and pick the slideshow
option. That will pop open a little widget which will let you choose
a directory of images and flip between them.

* Can we put a Web browser on a wall screen?

Not yet.

* Is there a Java3D plugin for people using Linux?

Yes: https://java3d.dev.java.net/binary-builds.html

~~~

Sincerely,
Troy

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Hello world!
28 January 2008

This is the blog for the SecondLife™ group, Qwaq-SL Liaison. Please visit our website for more information about the group.

Mixed-Reality Glitches
28 January 2008

In addition to using one or several virtual worlds as platforms for collaboration and personal networking, many of our QSL group members are interested in what is being called by some “mixed-reality” events. These include conferences or meetings projected in one or both directions between “real life” and a virtual world. In the past week I attended two such events.

The first meeting was held jointly in Boulder, Colorado and in a dome on the rooftop of the full-scale Vehicle Assembly Building model at the International Spaceflight Museum (ISM) in SecondLife™ (SL). The group holding the meeting is called Serious SecondLife in Boulder Meetup. This was the group’s second mixed-reality event held at the ISM, but only the latest of several similar events they have held at various SL locations.

We are starting to get the bugs worked out of the technology for holding such events, but some issues remain. One of the speakers at the Boulder event, Erica Driver of Forrester Research, blogged about her view of the event in a very thoughtful and helpful way. From my perspective I can say that Ms. Driver seemed to have more trouble with her audio than most people attending in Boulder, but she was certainly not the only one to experience problems. The video feed also suffered from repeated dropouts, probably because of insufficient bandwidth, and the camera placement was sometimes a little weird, aimed at the audience or even empty chairs instead of at the speakers. However, even with all the snags, the Boulder meeting went better than one held at NASA Ames Research Center this weekend.

For the NASA conference, there were avatars in SecondLife driven by a few people at Ames projecting their avatar’s points of view onto overhead screens, but only one avatar was acting as a repeater for audio for the SecondLife attendees, using SL’s voice chat tool. Sadly, the people at NASA used a voice-activated microphone that kept cutting out because the input volume was set too low. As a result, the people in SL could not follow what was being said, and since there was no video and the program was running a little late, they even had trouble trying to figure out who was speaking at any particular time. But all was not lost. The audience in SecondLife “rezzed” couches and chairs on the Moon’s surface at NASA CoLab and sat around chatting among themselves while not being able to hear the conference. I was told afterwards that we looked great on the screens in California. So, what’s important, anyway?

— Kat Lemieux (SL) / Katherine Prawl