Who, What, Why?
Enterprise uses of Immersive Environments and Virtual World technology for collaboration. As CTO of vComm Solutions and co-founder of Flying Island I'm particularly interested in the ways that collaborative 3D immersive environments might help bring dispersed teams together

Neil Canham
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November 2008
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View Article  Virtual Worlds useful to educators says BBC
Well finally - a mainstream media outlet, none other than the BBC, publishing a story that shows Second Life and other virtual worlds in a relatively positive light. Tech journalist Bill Thompson has written a fairly skimpy article about his time at the ReLIVE08 education in VW conference. Whilst repeating as everyone seems to need to that SL is used for 'cartoon-like sexual encounters' he also notes the education and research use of virtual environments and has a subtle dig at The Register for always dismissing SL as 'Sadville'. His most interesting points are his summary of the work of Sarah Robbins-Bell in characterising virtual worlds against various metrics, and his suggestion that by labelling themselves grandiosely as 'Worlds' these Persistent Immersive Environments set themselves up to be too readily dismissed by the media. He may have a point there, and many people, myself included, try to avoid the term Virtual World as much as possible.
View Article  Why everyone should play LittleBIGPlanet
My copy of LittleBIGPlanet for the PS3 arrived this week. What a beautiful, amazing, addictive thing it is. At heart it's basically a 2D platformer, of a type that has existed since the dawn of home computers, but now with photo-realistic 3D graphics, a wonderfully animated and configurable character ('Sackboy', so called as he is made of rough knitted cloth!) and a deep physics model that means problems can be solved in many many ways. It is presented in rich 3D graphics, although movement is constrained to a stack of three 2D planes - you can move freely up, down, left, right, and then hop into the screen by one or two hops. What can we call this - 2.3D?
So what is the relevance to Virtual Worlds? Read on to find out!   more »
View Article  First Life meetings - don't believe the hype
Thanks to Vint Falken for spotting this great vision of the future of business meetings posted by Jon Brouchard. Personally I can't see it working. I mean in a First Life meeting everyone would complain that I'm not making enough eye contact. In Second Life, that's just what you expect. I think we should hold business meetings in the PS3s amazing LittleBigPlanet, more about that soon (yes, I know it's basically a 2D platforms and levels game, but it's oh so much more too).
View Article  Discussion of Immersive Workspaces and Interview with Rivers Run Red
Dusan Writer has published a lengthy and informative piece on the emergence of business collaboration as VW application showing real ...   more »
View Article  Overview of Persistent Immersive Environments for enterprises now available

I've finally put together a document summarising the benefits of using immersive technologies for enterprise collaboration and teamwork, aimed at folk with no experience of the technology.  It is particularly targeted at software development teams that are dispersed, since that is an area I have real experience of.  The PDF is attached.  Please let me know what you think.

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View Article  KnowSense Multiboard virtual whiteboard demo a success
I was recently invited to gve a demo of a new whiteboard product I've put together for use in Second ...   more »
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