And the winner of award for innovation in the enterprise is…

Me and IBM 🙂
Yes last night at the end of the first day of the virtual world expo I was asked up on stage after a very nice intro from Steve Prentice (whose speech featured the brilliant quote from Pirates of the Carribean that the pirates code is not so much of a rule as guideline ) to pick up the award for Virtual World innovation in the Enterprise.
And the winner is
It was brilliant to be able to accept this, and whilst I may have started this all off it has been very much a team effort so this is really for all the eightbars and former eightbars out there.
I also have to say a huge thankyou to the organizers of the expo and to the judges for deciding on this.

Christopher V. Sherman Executive Director Virtual Worlds Management / Virtual Worlds Expo
Joey Seiler, Editor, Virtual Worlds News and awards chairman
Christian Renaud, CEO, Technology Intelligence Group
Erica Driver, Co-Founder and Principal, ThinkBalm
Nic Mitham, Managing Director, K Zero
Steve Prentice, VP and Fellow, Gartner
Robert Bloomfield, Founder and Host, Metanomics

The other winners can be found here

So what now…. Well I guess just keep on pushing and see where we can all take this as an industry. I do of course have some ideas, just need to find a way or a place to make them happen.

Sametime and Opensim

We dont normally do press release coverage here on eightbar, but as this is part of what is being announced here at VW08 it seemed to make sense to cover it.
IBM is integrating OpenSim and Sametime in a significantly deep way.
There is more on that here, and a video below

This fits nicely with the key themes of making virtual worlds part of the enterprise, not a place to escape to but that is integrated and absorbs services and produces services to an enterprise.
Its a different flavour to an entertainment or brand experience, but has many of the same tools.

Doh! thats augmented reality!

I took a little research trip, as I am over on the west coast, to the universal park. Much of what is going on at this virtual worlds expo is Hollywood based, so to see what sort of experiences people enjoy and how they are done in with the current state of the art seemed a must.
The Simpsons ride really takes a whole load of ingredients to fool and entertain the brain. We often say in virtual world circles that nothing beats real life. The Simpsons (for those who have not followed such things) take the TV program into a giant domed screen, but pairs a crazy cgi rendered experience with a whole load of physical tools. The prime one is the hydraulic cockpit. These seem to be able to generate a whole load of unusual movements that fool the brain. That is why of course they are used in flight sims. The Simpsons has an open carriage, which allows for a greater immersion, and for things like dry ice to be thrown into the mix.
You are also experiencing this with other people. Only a few in a car at a time to give the feeling you are a family on with the Simpsons, plus technically its harder to throw lots of people around in one car. They do of course have more than one running on the giant screen but you attention cannot see those.
At the dawn of cinema people were only able to experience films in a purpose built facility, as time has gone on we have added more sensory elements to home installations. Vibrating joypads on consoles etc. By combining what we currently have for 3d immersion and adding some extra layers of the physical world whilst we may not be able to do the justice to the Simpsons ride we should be able to immerse entertain and inform people in an even richer fashion. We may even be able to locally manufacture some of the physical elements needed for an “experience” using 3d printers? It still feels we are chained to these laptop screens and qwerty keyboards…. I guess thats more for tomorrows visionaries panel.
BTW my favourite Homer line from the ride “Doh I hate chain reactions”

2008 Metaverse Tour Video by Gary Hayes

A colleague Davide Barillari posted a link in an internal blog post to this marvelous piece and video showing a whole host of virtual worlds in one roundup video, interspersed with great quotes too. Its a very nice piece of work, I tried a short like this a while back and have never got to do it properly, now I dont have too thanks to Gary Hayes of
The original poste Davide found was here at Holli Hollywood’s blog so give her some link love (the serendipity of the Hollywood name given my previous post cant be overlooked I think) Hopefully the trackback to a fellow wordpress blog will credit her too.
Here is the video though in just in case

Virtual World Conference and Expo – LA here we come

Next week, September 3rd/4th is the next major Virtual worlds expo and conference. I will be over there along with lots of my IBM collegues to meet, greet, share, explain and talk all about various aspects of the gorwing virtual worlds business.
Hollywood beckons
So come find me at the IBM booth or just grab anyone with a striped leather jacket 🙂
We have Colin Parris our VP of digital convergence doing a keynote, I am on the technology visionaries panel in the futures stream and Boas Betzler will be on the enterpise track on the panel The Future of Virtual Collaboration in the Enterprise.
Michael Rowe of dogearnation fame will be wandering the floors doing interviews for a podcast with all sorts of key people in the industry.
Looking at the speaker list, and the sponsor list this is really going to be a huge show. They get incrementally bigger, so its great to see the growth happening.
If you check the other keynotes, John Landau is opening the show, Steve Parkis an SVP from Disney online and Tim Kring creator of Heroes are all speaking too.
The entire speaker list is something I get a kick out of reading. CEO’s and Senior VP’s and a few of us with other titles peppering the list.
I know I am going to be torn by my speaking schedule, booth schedule, catching up with the metarati schedule and the fact I really want to see some of the high end Hollywood sessions. Whilst we have driven this into the enterprise based on human interaction and meeting style communication, the blend back into the entertainment and game space is clearly going to have a major impact.
Anyway, if you are there see you there, safe journey’s everyone.

Navigating the web in a different way – Ubiquity

Thanks to Steve Hughes (fellow IBMer no relation) for pinging this url to Mozilla Labs Ubiquity This features a simple, yet very well executed set of ideas that alters how people will use the web. It is very early prototype, but its a personal mashup tool. Its task based, so as you start to do something, browser email etc, it acts as a helper gathering services from the web that you need for the task you are completing. e.g. sending an address to a friend, but also wanting to include a map.
Each of the things shown in the video demonstration indicate something that we probably have all done at some time or other, but that involve a lot of cutting and pasting, or page swapping to collate information. I know I personally find it annoying swapping around, writing a blog post, but cut and pasting in embed code from places like Flickr, when my brain is saying just put photo a. in here.
All the disparate systems all have services now that can be called upon. It would appear ubiquity is helping us, as people be the collator of those services. Its a great idea and I suspect we will seem more of this sort of thing. I already find Google desktop (just find the document on my machine for me will you please) essential, this would appear to be even more so as it evolves.
You can also see that there is now scope for some more AI innovation to be applied on top. Having an intelligent agent with a ubiquity style helper to pull web services together is going to be really useful.
I can also see how this can be applied not just to the 2d web services that the demo shows but to the wider metaverse services as they become more exposed. I am very impressed so far and look forward to seeing this develop.

2D to 3D but with more Wow factor.

Ian has previously covered software and methods for taking 2d images to 3d models here on Eightbar. Michael Ackerbauer here at IBM just brought this research from Volker Blanz and Thomas Vetter to my attention. I think you’ll agree it’s pretty awesome. Now just to find out where I can get my hands on it…