Who, What, Why?
Monday, February 16
by neilC on Mon 16 Feb 2009 19:29 GMT
"So as you can see, the colour of this panel is OK but that one needs to be brighter".... "then you have to touch this button."...."At this point the graph shows how changing to super-bright saved us quillions of pounds..." Come on it must have happened to you - despite all their amazing immersive features, even the best virtual worlds don't convey direction of gaze as well as we might like - SL makes a really good attempt, but nine times out of ten you still end up thinking 'What panel, which button, where on the graph?'. So I set out to look at ways to make this better when giving presentations in SL at least. The video clip shows my first experiments, first just enabling the in-built selection beams, then supplementing them with my own unmissable pointer :-)
I found out a few interesting things along the way, partly courtesy of the wonderfully helpful folk on the SL Forums. Firstly, the colour of the in built 'selection' magic beam of dots can be changed in the viewer preferences - managed to miss that all these years! And that you can't turn them off, at least not as seen by others (which is the point, literally!) You can turn them off using Advanced menu Debug settings, but this has no effect on what anyone else sees. So for the moment I have a chat switchable pointer that swaps between 'normal' particle chain and 'unmissable' modes. Should make demoing the other tools I'm working on like whiteboard and noticeboards a lot easier. And those impromtu whiteboard games of pictionary - "That bit is never a moustache..." :-)
Wednesday, February 11
Tuesday, February 3
by neilC on Tue 03 Feb 2009 19:43 GMT
vComm Solutions of Zurich, Switzerland have announced their Enterprise solution-in-a-box for OpenSim at the LearnTec 2009 trade show in Germany. Called Aula the ready-to-run virtual environment is targeted at enterprise training needs, and provides meeting spaces, an auditorium and breakout areas alongside tools including Voice-over-IP, easy PowerPoint presentations and desktop sharing. The solution is based on OpenSim and can be hosted or installed locally behind a firewall.
The announcement on the companies website is currently only available in German, but it says roughly:
vComm aula is a complete virtual world, which is designed for training in the enterprise. Geographically dispersed users can work together in the highly realistic 3D environment. This saves travel and infrastructure costs. vComm aula is based on the platform OpenSim and can be installed on an Intranet.If you read German, more details of Aula are available at the LearnTec 2009 show website
I was lucky enough to get a tour of the virtual spaces a while ago, since they also exist in Second Life, and I believe that the facilities in SL can also be rented, or set up as a private sim. I can tell you that Volker Gaessler and his team have done a great job. The quality of the architecture and furnishings is first rate and the feeling of being in a real meeting is quite strong. The presentation screen and the associated web uploader make displaying presentation slides a quick and simple affair. I haven't seen the desktop sharing as this is currently only available in OpenSim, but I hope to soon. This is a very promising project for any enterprise that wants to get started in using virtual environments with the minimum of effort. The current polar conditions in the UK mean a lot of people stuck at home - wouldn't this just be perfect for allowing them to keep working together?
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