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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View Article  Whisper Voice for OpenSim source released
The 'Whisper' voice system for OpenSim has been released as open source and is available right now. Whisper is a tight integration of the popular Mumble voice-over-IP code with OpenSim for use with most OpenSim viewers. I've been using Whisper for some time now and wrote about it here - it provides far and away the best voice solution available for OpenSim with full support for lip sync and speaker indication, so having this now fully available to the community should really hasten the adoption of OpenSim as a virtual world platform for serious uses such as education, meetings, collaboration and training. Full details of how where to find the source and how to build both client and server elements are available on the Whisper forums
View Article  Visualising Software Projects using OpenSim Virtual World Server
Software projects are complicated. They usually don't start out to be, but inevitably even the simplest piece of functionality quickly ends up requiring numerous modules, versions, branches, all with various tests that can run against them and bugs that have been reported. Getting a good summary view of this complexity is one of the challenges of software engineering, and it is especially important for a project with a distributed team. The ability to see at a glance what has changed or what is broken is very valuable. At the same time, for someone new joining a project, the ability to see the landscape of the project is essential, picking up the shape of new projects is hard and time consuming.    more »
View Article  Canvas Browser-based Virtual World Viewer - first looks
This week I've had a chance to try 'Canvas', the Unity 3D based viewer for OpenSim and SecondLife. The technology for the viewer has been licensed from IBM by Chris Collins, formerly General Manager For Enterprise at Linden Lab. Chris hopes that it will increase adoption of OpenSim and SecondLife for corporate and education sectors where the demands of the regular 'full-fat' client may be too much for the IT infrastructure. The current release is described as 'early access' or 'preview release' and access to the viewer is by request via the Tipodean website The 'preview release' nature of the product must be born in mind in what follows - the intention is to provide a realistic view of what Canvas can currently do for the benefit of those not able to access it themselves.   more »
View Article  Virtual Worlds in the Browser - Spoiled for Choice?
You wait years for a virtual world viewer in the browser then suddenly they are everywhere. There has been a raft of browser-based 3D environment announcements over the past couple of weeks. Second Life trialled their cloud-rendering viewer, allowing you to drop into selected SL locations just using your browser and a suitably high speed net connection. Rezzable have been teasing the Web and LinkedIn communities with a 'coming very soon' browser-based viewer for OpenSim based on Unity 3D. Former Linden Lab employee Chris Collins company Tipodean Technologies made a similar announcement of their Canvas viewer for Second Life and OpenSim (licensed from IBM) again based on Unity 3D. The high fidelity virtual environments of Blue Mars, such as the business focussed virtual district of OnLand, will soon be available in a browser using server-side rendering and streaming. VastPark are also known to have done some work on a WebGL-based viewer for their virtual environments. Probably most impressive of all was the appearance two days ago of KataSpace built on the Sirikata virtual world server, using WebGL and requiring no plugins or downloads at all for cutting edge browsers.    more »
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