Posts Tagged ‘2b3d’

Teaching a Certificate in Virtual Worlds at the University of Washington gives 2b3d some serious chops

March 2, 2011

I hold back on talking about the Certificate in Virtual Worlds course at the University of Washington which I teach, until I’m deep into the Second Quarter.

In the first quarter, the students jump from one virtual world to the other as fast as we can present them. One week, we’ll jump into 3DXplorer, hosted by the CEO Darius Lahoutifard. The next week we teleport into Reaction Grid with Kyle Gomboy and move into his 3D Unity models to get a glimpse into the future of engineering. Then, we’ll move over to VastPark and explore the dynamism of full Internet integration, and so on and on for a good six or seven weeks. We use this model to provide students with the ability to see how a professional owner of a company presents the product and the future of the product. As the students gain access to these virtual world leaders, they develop an ability to evaluate, present and manage other individuals inside a virtual world. They grow to a point of finding another world, InWorldz, World of Warcraft, Club Penguin, Protosphere and on and on. And they develop ways to get the rest of the class to come in, look around, and listen to their presentation of that world, emulating the executive that they saw previously. It’s wondrous actually to watch the growth.

The students have to figure out how to get into the virtual world, bring a set of 15-20 people along with them (figure out what to do when the virtual world is not cross platform), and in some cases figureing out how to present in those worlds through more than one medium at a time. Sometimes they rely on Adobe Connect, sometimes they stream the presentation. Their job is to figure out how it’s done and make it a smooth experience. They don’t get a grade, they get an experience they’ll never forget. They have 20 critics who have to do the same thing watching them. We want to get in and get out knowing we’ve seen what there is to see. It’s one thing to teleport to another virtual world, it’s quite another to figure out the presentation system, gain everyone’s attention and keep their interest while you’re presenting from a distance. Not being able to see your audience is something you truly don’t understand until you can’t do it yourself. These students always succeed at it. Why not, they have a class of 20 mentors to help them do it, not to mention access to virtual world team leaders themselves. These ladies and gentlemen avail themselves to our class with extreme selflessness. We are blessed.

The students reflect on each one of these visits while reading academic papers from various research organizations. They read, they explore their thoughts on a wiki, and they comment on each other’s thoughts. They self reflect and group reflect at the same time. They do all of this under the identify of their avatar. I don’t think we even say our real names during the first day of class. We create personas, so we can ask deeper questions. What is a virtual world? What is the Proteus effect? Am I becoming my avatar? What is the future of the metaverse? What will I be prepared to do there? Which hardware technologies will be integrated to sense my physical and emotional reactions? Will I invent them? What is the future of mesh in Second Life? Will I design the next world? The questions go on and on, and we frame everything against an emerging understanding of how to choose a virtual world to solve a business problem, design an educational experience, and consider building a business.

Further, the students examine avatar persona deeply. What does it mean to be present in a virtual world with other people? How do you manage your own attention, and how do you get and keep the attention of others? What is the impact of clothing in the virtual world, or appearance, and continuity of character? The questions abound. How do I use narrative? How do I use multimedia? What is the design constraints and the affordances of the environments? We believe by living there, you can come to understand these questions very deeply. Hiro Protagonist would easily find a place at our table.

As students get a firm hold on that, they begin to feel what it is like when taking on a client. The client calls and has an idea they want to go into a virtual world. Your first question is, what is the business case and what do you want to accomplish by moving your solution onto a 3D virtual platform? How much immersion, interactivity and collaboration do you want to experience? And the fact that each one of us does this several times a quarter, and gets instant feedback from all of the other users makes this the equivalent of a Reality TV like experience. We do vote people off the island at times :>D

As students prep for these scenarios in the physical world, they build a sense of camaraderie and belonging to the virtual biodome in which they live. They develop a psychology of interaction, and a sociology of collaboration. They develop natural tendencies to acknowledge others, clarify appropriately, support their statements with references, URLs, multimedia. The objective is to enrich, embrace, and enlighten.

Success in taking a class in a virtual world is, as Woody Allen might state, is simply 90% showing up. I’m not saying Woody Allen takes classes in a virtual world. If he did, he’d probably be even more alienated than he is today. Or would he? Would he have a sense of community, of other people caring about his actions, his inactions, and his contributions. Would he have a venue for talking to someone at 3 am in the morning when he can’t sleep and just looking around for some humanity. I think he might be quite pleased, especially if he decided he wanted to jam a bit with a colleague over the Internet.

Immersing yourself long term in a virtual world, has a very profound effect on the psychology of learning. A certain responsibility and accountability grow out of being there. You see performance from everyone, all the time. That’s different than sitting in a class listening to the teacher talk. It’s active, it’s focused, and it’s personal. It’s everything you want it to be, if you are reaching out for interaction and experience.

Visit us at UW Avalumni, University of Washington Virtual Biodome. These are the types of experiences that 2b3d has brought to the university environment. This model provides a wonderful foundation for bringing instruction to the business scene. We know how to teach in a virtual world with performance of the student on our mind. We know how to build it, and we know how to make it work. Try us!

Virtual Worlds and Cloud Computing

July 18, 2010

Journal Article Review. I just read the latest version of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research entitled the Metaverse Assembled. I stopped at  Tom Boellstorff’s Editorial article on cloud computing, and thought about the evolution of computing and how badly it needs a virtual world’s interface.  The metaphor is simple — enough one of accumulation — data, networks, devices being in the cloud, providing nourishment to everyone. Tom hinted at it clearly enough — cloud computing is simply an enabler – it allows us to access lots and lots of software to grow our companies, deliver experiences to our customers, communicate and use applications on any device we have available to us. That is what we need to hear. We now need to hear more about the virtual world part of this that is going to make the cloud experience even better.

Use VW in Context to Show Cloud Apps. Now, what is the relevance to virtual worlds. It’s simple – virtual worlds provide a realistic interface to cloud computing – instead of looking at so many different kinds of screens, we can put the cloud applications in context in a place we can relate to easily – an office, a desktop, a manufacturing plant, a classroom.

Distribution and Provenance. Broadband and mass distribution have helped of course. We’ve commercialized computers, created devices we could create content on, and enabled a communications industry to provide services to access the infrastructure to store up, serve and protect our assets for years to come. I’m delighted Tom mentioned how Google’s Chrome is taking on the provenance issue – in short how do you make sure you can run a copy of your iPhone in 50 years, or run a copy of your spreadsheet on a Windows 32-bit machine with XP.

Research is Useful. The implications of cloud computing with a virtual world’s interface will be a great journey in the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research and I’m looking to hear it all. What is working, what isn’t working? Who is using the cloud in a way that I can use the cloud? How does the virtual world interface connect to the cloud? How can interoperability help be achieved by use of the cloud? A journal should ask questions like these and provide potential venues for research and outcomes from research.

Practical Uses. You have this amazing virtual world in which the objects you build look like the objects in the physical world. So if you build an office in a building, it looks like an office in a building. If you have a desk with drawers, you can store 3D objects in there that you can use in your world. If you build a table, you can lay out documents from Google Docs on the table. If you build a training center, you can host Dabbleboard and YouTube on the screen, and enable users to separate into breakout rooms and brainstorm about the video or presentation, or latest idea shown in a prototype room.

More Practical Ideas. If you build a desktop computer, you can share your desktop on a single prim and watch someone else use their cloud application and guide them to learn faster. You can use 3D lighting effects and motion to highlight a patient lying on a table in a medical education simulation and stream cloud stored videos from a resource library at a University into the virtual operating room. If you have an office, you can lock the office for cybersecurity so no one can enter into your part of the cloud application unless you authorize them – playing off of User ID and login, and using the office metaphor as a group login concept.

VWs better than File Open. If you build 3D posters or 3D picture frames you can draw off your intranet what your key missions and values are using art work that sits on a cloud application managed by your art department, or use Flickr that hosts pictures of your family. In short, you have a 3rd place to store digital items in a virtual world that enables you to remember where it is better. 3D representations of spaces are much easier to manage the cloud than say File Open Network Documents … shall I go on?

Avatars in Clouds. Take the avatar in the cloud in a virtual world. Imagine creating a 3D image of a Rolodex – but one connected to LinkedIn for the recommender system and programmed to have avatars pop out through teleportation when you connect with them. Think novel cloud applications using Web 2.0 social networking software.

Attention Management in Clouds. You have a “presence” that identifies who you are, or better yet what you’d like to project about yourself. Your avatar is essentially your cursor, it represents where you are in the 3D virtual space at any given time. As your avatar is walking through a cloud of applications, he may look around and use the avatar to alert other individuals what you’re looking at or what you’re doing. If your avatar faces a screen, you’re likely paying attention to what is on the screen. If your avatar is reaching out to initialize a program, you’re likely launching the program or working on part of the program. If your avatar is following behind you as you discuss something and you are showing off items in your virtual world, there is a strong possibility that the avatar is paying attention to you.

Leveraging the Cloud. If this is done over many different spaces in a virtual world, you are literally looking into an environment that is a representation of what is happening on the “cloud”. But, you’re not talking about the cloud, you’re not including the cloud, you are leveraging the cloud, and using all of the applications on it along with your collaborators.

Invent and Innovate. We are in an age of invention and innovation. Invention being the application of money to create ideas, and innovation being the application of ideas to make money. Let us start getting specific about what those ideas are.

2b3d Wins four Telly Awards

July 15, 2010

2b3d announces winning 3 Bronze Telly Awards for Use of Animation, Use of Graphics, Visual Effects and 1 Silver Telly Award in the Category of Sales and Marketing for their work on Club One Island. Club One Island is a set of four islands dedicated to providing a healthy environment for residents who are following the Habit Changer program. This program is sponsored and taught by Club One Fitness on our islands to help people lose weight. In a recent study, we blogged about how users are loosing more weight in the in-world experience than those who are following the program in the physical Club One location. The use of good graphics, animations, and visual effects combine to create a realistic world in which the participants gain a sense of living together and working together to achieve their personal goals. The textures, graphics, and programming for this island are designed by 2b3d’s award winning designers and developers. The atmosphere is tropical, the sense of activity is immediate, and the live events draw people to the program in a way that indicates a long future is at hand for this award winning concept.

2b3d and Club One Hit a Home Run

May 26, 2010

Below you’ll see Club One’s Press release. So, now we’re getting it on. 2b3d has framed a concept with Club One that is easy to relate to. All of us want to lose weight. All of us want to do it in a way that is purposeful. We can start a diet, but that is us versus the refrigerator. You can join a gym, but that is us versus the elliptical machine. You can join a website, but that is us and a lonely flat 2D experience with words and maybe some IM’ing back and forth.

However, when you add the element of a support group with whom you meet on line all of the time, you change up who is working with you. Club One has put together a team of experts to work with you. First, they use one of their award winning programs: the Habit Changer  knowing full well they have a winner. They add avatars, appearance, an apartment, a group to work with. And what a group. links to experts in nutrition, experts in psychological behavioral change, experts in movement, experts in support, and experts in virtual worlds.

This program, Club One Island will be the catalyst that changes up what virtual worlds are all about.

Read about it in the following press release. And enjoy learning what it’s like to partner with 2b3d and a winner!

Press Release Here:
Club One Island Unveils Behavior Change Program for America’s Obesity Epidemic – Virtual World Participants Lost Up to 20 Pounds in Three Months
SAN FRANCISCO & BOSTON –(Business Wire)–

Sitting in front of a computer is now a serious way to improve one’s health. Today, Club One Island, a virtual health world, unveiled early weight loss program results at the Games for Health Conference in Boston. More than one third of U.S. adults, or 72 million people, and 16 percent of U.S. children are obese and obesity-related health care costs totaled an estimated $117 billion in 2000 (Source (News – Alert): Center for Disease Control). Club One Island (www.cluboneisland.com) is a professionally structured program built in a virtual world to reshape the approach with America’s obesity crisis. The early conclusion from pilot program results is that a behavior change program based entirely in a virtual world can generate greater weight loss results than a similar program based in the physical world. Club One Island participants lost an average of more than eight pounds in 12 weeks.

Program Participants and Results

The 60 pilot-program participants for Club One Island were U.S. adults (age 20-70+) with a body mass index (BMI) of 35.17 as measured by health professionals, while the control group had a BMI of 35.70 (note: a person with a BMI of 30 is considered obese according to the CDC). The control group’s program had all the components of the virtual world program, including exercise, nutrition, behavior change and a support group, but just in a different environment. The average weight loss results from the program after 12 weeks and four one-hour sessions per week:

* Club One Island (Virtual World): Loss of 8.08 lbs, 3.88 percent body fat and 1.98 inches from waist
* Control Group (Physical World): Loss of 5.98 lbs, 3.63 percent body fat and 1.92 inches from waist

The participants also completed a survey to determine the impact of Club One Island on whether or not the program worked for them and how it impacted their personal lives. Below are the combined percentages of Somewht Agree, Agree and Strongly Agree:

* Optimism: 100 percent – I have a greater sense of optimism about managing my weight.
* Control: 100 percent – I feel a greater sense of control.
* Worked Better: 80 percent – The program worked better for me than other things I have tried.
* Communication: 76 percent – I am better able to communicate my needs to my family.
* Positive Change: 71 percent – I have noticed positive change in my relationships.

The Behavior Change Program on Club One Island

Virtual world training is already successful in multiple industries and is currently used to improve skills and increase knowledge for doctors, pilots, soldiers, students and more. Club One Island incorporates:

* Avatar Association: Studies have shown that the body follows the mind and that people incorporate the behavior they see from their avatars on-screen.
* Cognitive Behavioral Theory: Activities and interactions on Club One Island center on reframing how people think about weight loss. Instructors discuss how to change self-talk from negative to positive, instill and acquire positive habits, and identify and overcome individual barriers to personal health.
* Gaming: Club One Island is a fun destination that offers activities that exceed the limits of a physical world. The virtual environment integrates guided play, discovery, point/reward systems and themed rooms that address key issues, such as the Room of Doom. In this room, people are encouraged to combat their emotion-driven eating with a virtual hammer that smashes junk food.
* Social Networking and Community: Club One Island is a thriving community of people who share similar health challenges and goals. The open and supportive environment offers opportunities to make connections with other participants, create their own profiles and journals, as well as customize their own apartments.

“Club One Island is a new approach to health that encourages individuals and organizations to rethink how we deal with obesity issues in this country,” said Celeste DeVaneaux, Creative Director of Club One Island. “Program participants are very pleased with their weight loss results and we believe that there are tremendous implications for companies, health insurance providers, and governments looking to reduce the burden of health care costs and improve the lives of entire populations.”

Club One, one of the premier fitness club networks in California, created Club One Island as part of its ongoing commitment to change behaviors, improve health and save lives. Club One Island is currently based in Second Life. Phase Two of the program is currently underway and those results will be released later this year.

Virtual Worlds in Higher Education

March 13, 2010

I just reviewed a book called Higher Education in Virtual Worlds for a Journal on Information Processing. A journal requires an academic review of a book, so we produced an academic review of the book – it was measured, talked specifically to the audience, reassured them it was a good practice to look at virtual worlds, provided many examples. It was a nice review.

What we didn’t do was our diatribe of our own opinion that lurks in the back of the mind of the writer. Here it is.

Underlying the quotes and the metrics, Higher Education in Virtual Worlds begins to prescribe how to get us past physical classrooms, lectures, tests, grades, and books, and into a collaborative student space that is basically surrounded by intellectual abundance, resilient communities of practice and geopolitically unconstrained learning environments. The authors clearly recognize the potential for the virtual world venue to put the learner at the center of the instruction and image what could really be different.

This is certainly clear in Ball and Pearce’s example of a student visiting Dante’s Inferno, They suggest that students experience a more personal, deeper engagement with the material than they do with traditional reading and discussion (p. 54). Most of the authors recognize that the persona that descends physically from one circle of hell to the other is an intense, visual accuracy akin to flying to a foreign country and being dropped off in the center of town by a taxi. The learner is forced to adapt and find the resources needed to understand and survive in the environment, something Edwin Love and coauthors imagine as running a real business in the virtual world (p. 80). But some of the authors worry about the subterfuge and deception of the “once-removed environment” and caution about identity, embodiment, instructor immediacy and disruption. They blur the readers eyes with academic rigor and traditional one step forwardness.

The enlightened say there will be an increase in business schools entering into the virtual world (p. 99). Other less enlightened relied on the limiting factors of the world such as chatting to test their hypotheses whether students had better relationships (p. 111) or leverage role playing for performance appraisals (p. 192). That is so odd when they could have used voice, cameras, and virtual cohabitation. Even though there was acknowledgment of the potential of virtual worlds in higher education, there was less time focused on discussing what and how to build in this world permanently. It’s impossible not to recognize the ability to leverage millions of people, thousands of mentors, and public/private collaborators in virtual worlds. Yet, the authors fail to insist that persistence in these spaces is imminent and everyone is already exposed to the availability of intellect, the intensity of neurological bombardment of 3D visual educational images and the seamless interconnectivity to the physical world through every sensor device imaginable.

The virtual world is a real place that is connected to everyone, everywhere and has a better interface than a web page. The Open University embraces that stakeholders understand the limits and encourages continuing participation in the evolution (p. 217). This realization is the same one instructional designers need to make. They need to desperately think beyond the learning objective and the formulaic design of introducing a certain instructional method to achieve that specific objective. I think the only thing that learns that way today is a robot. Frankly, I want to see more. I want to see strong positions on achieving avatar identity, strategies for co-creation of student intellectual property, strategies for finding groups of like interests, applications for critical problem solving using 3D objects, methods for leveraging the enormous resources of libraries and people, and sterling examples of co-located groups working out repeatable solutions. Books like this need to understand that learning is a consequence of doing there, not just being there and showing up for a physical class that uses Second Life as a tool for brand management. Students are participating in a living environment that extends their physical life into an immersive, 3D higher educational experience. This awareness is what will scale and what will be sustainable in our culture of billions.

The editor cautions the reader at the beginning that if educators ignore this technological trend, they do so at the peril of their professional credibility. As an educator and a technologist, I will go a step further. I believe the digital native is here right now, that they are using the Internet to think critically, and that they’re using every interface they can to communicate their competency and get things done. And, I think that they’re doing that despite the constraint of institutions and accreditation. They and the instructors in your institutions need your help and partnership. In short, virtual worlds are essential for higher education. If you’re not co-creating in there now, you’ll likely be irrelevant as an instructor in a university in five years and your students will likely not be relevant in business in the next five years either. We know it’s a bold statement, but the book only teases you in believing that; somebody needs to just say it. And now, we encourage these authors and others to continue to live it and write about it — and this time with more urgency.

Welcome to 2b3d 3D Learning Blog Time

January 24, 2010

Welcome to 2b3d 3D Learning Blog Tour

Welcome to the 3D Learning Blog Stop at 2b3d. We’re proud to host the Blog Tour for this amazing book. There has never been an event like this before, and it is showing a new way of marketing and community that incorporates the virtual world and the textual world of blogging.

3D virtual learning is about the experience. When you take your first class in a virtual world, you wonder, what is this technology? How do I move around? What do I do first? The instructions may seem like they are obvious to the designer and the developer, but do you remember the first time you landed in an airport that was in a different city? Do you remember the first time you took a subway? It isn’t easy to interpret all of the 3D images. But, if you sit down for a second, take it all in, and turn on your wayfinding instincts, you’ll start to move around with your arrow keys and you’ll start figuring it all out. You have to figure out how to move your camera, since virtual worlds always give you the ability to look around and discover. Then, you’ll have to figure out how to communicate, talk to your teacher, your peers, and groups that you’ll unlikely be participating with in the virtual world experience. Well, like all first timers, relax, enjoy and get ready to learn in a new way.

We’ve been using 3D technologies to teach and learn. We teach at the University of Washington every Thursday night; and, we’ve been doing that for over a year and a half. We have taught Cisco, the DoD, Ernst and Young, Club One Fitness, NextIt, it goes on and on. And, we’ve developed the culture for using this environment so that it produces competencies and skills both in virtual worlds and in the expertise of the instruction. Come aboard, let’s chat. We’ve got lots of experience, and we’re willing to share it with you. It’s not about the database, it’s about the human race.

Rosedale Hits it Out of the Park

November 16, 2009

1 Billion users. I want 1 Billion users. Often called a rounding error in a large software company, one billion users. That might sound glib, but it really isn’t. Are the billion users paying customers or not, bottom line. Let’s characterize the population who might make up the 1 billion. Are they spenders, or are they the ones receiving the benefits of the redistributed wealth. They are likely pedestrians. They fashion themselves for free to look like Angelina Jolie or Chris Evans and yearn to be on the next cover of a Virtual World magazine. But open up a Facebook page so they can market themselves as if they were on the cover. They are ex-pat Gaia junkies and they come into virtual worlds to spend about a dollar, likely for cooler hair. They are likely not the explorers who pay up to $300 a month for a quarter of a server and are considering the several 10s of thousands to secure their world behind the firewall. These numbers seem much smaller and the standards for them are at greater stakes. Conversely, the billion are not the spenders, they are the receivers – and the standards required to keep them interested in virtual worlds are what’s really subject for discussion here. It is the standard of identity.

In the abounding world of redistributing wealth, the San Francisco Odysseus is wrapping its mind around open source with a guarantee to set us free, after they’ve heard the siren call and been wooed into believing everything they hear. But once they get off the expensive Second Life island (if they ever will), and give up all the freebies, free clothes, free VoIP and free meeting places, an evil question of capitalism pops into mind. Who’s going to pay for the billions to stay on line? The open source community, although a wonderful idea, has always made me strangely nervous. In the free worlds, everyone is going to build content, build applications, build the realm and leave it open so everyone can access it and grow it. It seems like they’ll make money on it, but the bottom line, Linden Lab owns the operating environment it all runs on and everyone has to pay the Linden tax to operate their open source solutions. For some reason, I can never wrap my arms around this answer, until I started to look at Obama’s political practices. The people who are going to pay for it are you. Free, which is what open source assumes, is going to be funded by you. You must pay for the price of innovation, and you will not collect on that innovation, you will give it up for the common good.

This is big. Instead of competing with WalMart, Amazon, or even Live.Com, the virtual world is going to get you hooked on buying image, identity and community.  I think I overhead a couple of Microsofties in the 90s having this same conversation. One said,  let’s go in their and round up the standards and by the time anyone is really paying attention, we’ll be dominant in the market and there won’t be any reason but to log onto our identity servers. And when people catch on, let’s call it open source and lets even put our research on line so people can get access to it and put their research on line as well. It’s all so Boy Scouts. Beumused, I keep thinking, who is forgetting that we came here to lay a stake to a standard so everyone benefits (or dare I say profits).  What standards are those? I’m just looking for exactitude, Phillip.

Reductionism in the article suggests that the innovation is minimal scaffolding for the development of the rich content experiences.  The minimal scaffolding. That sounds so Leonardo da Vinci telling Pope Gregory this ceiling should take me just a couple of months.

Now this is the real example, so we understanding what Phillip is supporting in open source. He suggests an offering to translate up services in Japanese as an example of minimal scaffolding for open source. I like it but it sure doesn’t mean anything. There are no IP issues right up front, there is unlimited resource of consent (because they’re your ideas), and it’s as open as sound in the forest (so who’s going to argue). If  you just want to speak Japanese and understand it -you enter into a virtual world, hook up with a Japanese person, walk around and point to things on various islands and repeat after me over headphones “this is a booku”. I’m missing the open source and innovation standards thing again. Is it because someone really kind wrote a translator in Second Life that Linden now incorporates into its platform – clever open source isn’t it. The Japanese Angelina Jolie is pretty, she me a book (well access to a URL website where I could buy a book), and showed me  some Japanese things (well some images on Google.com), and I spoke to her with my free IP (well just words that came to me when we were talking).

Now, let’s get back to frameworks, open source and how this model is going to make me money. Amazon made some money in my experience, that was good. Linden made some money from the islands where the nice Japanese lady spoke to me in Japanese, and the island owner made some money when I bought the traditional Japanese dress. But where’s my money? I even paid the nice little Japanese lady. Hmm. I’m one of the billion spenders. I get it now.

Now, on the street, I hear its time to hide your good ideas from the development community because the patent lawyers have arrived, and everyone is asking for quick claims and licenses to just have another conversation . The lawyer can be heard saying at the conference, you did of course file for your patent last year, and your part of the virtual operating system, business process and unique programming all belong to you right? Or did you license it to Linden according to their Terms of Service and now it’s part of their Enterprise Server.

Now maybe I’m getting this all wrong, and the open source thingy is all about really grabbing the power of an experiential engine (yourself), and a really good definition of who you are. Are you the open source? Or are you a microtransaction that gets paid based on your expertise on the experiential engine? Is anyone talking about that yet?

We applaud you, Phillip, for the one transparent thing you say here. The complexity and uncertainty of virtual worlds have favored a process where features were developed more in the open and early feedback was able to direct development. And Linden humility stresses that they did feel smart enough to be able to hide their ideas from end -users! Man, let me get this straight, you don’t know you gave up all your ideas for Second Life development because who reads the terms of service for a virtual world. Did you realize that the ideas they were not hiding were your ideas being converted by their standards.

My advise to the read – think of yourself as the backbone of operating systems and monetize your own self expression, and keep it to yourself. Use the virtual world to offer you as a service, and stop giving all your ideas away for free, as you close down your island this month because with the $300 per month that you’ve been spending, you could have bought a car now and gone from town to town and offered your service in the physical dimension. Try focusing on identity as a new form of self expression that can be monetized by you – if you take hold of it and do it right, you’ll win. After all this is just gaming right (….)

Linden Lab’s Enterprise Server: The Happiness Factor!

November 9, 2009

The explosion begins, Linden enters the Enterprise Server rank and file. Of course, they have a superior idea. They put their software behind the firewall. There Second Life already speaks for itself; no one really has to learn about it, or learn the software; it just works because it’s always been there on the open market. It’s so Netscape. The corporate enterprise must worry less about which ports they have open, and who is going to enter through those ports, and just get the social networking space up and running and let the users create all the content. Smart move, Linden!

Of course, there is still the issue of where is all the content going to come from. Traditionally, enterprises have thought this technology could be cool for inspiring the workforce to have meetings, maybe even do some training on-line in a new way. So, they’d contact a solution provider, likely off the Linden Lab website, or maybe from word of mouth, or even better from looking at the existing work of individual companies on line. They’d find someone, start a pilot and hit the firewall.  They’d jump to the next line of defense: the Second Life defectors I like to call them. So much like Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, the lost generation who thought Europe was a better place to be. They went off to explore other virtual worlds: Active Worlds, Power U, Unisfair, Protosphere, OLIVE, Qwaq (now gone native as Teleplace), even some have run over to the OpenSims, all agog about getting a whole bunch of islands for very little.

Yet, Linden moves forward, tripping here and there, sure, but constantly adding something new, something strong, and then they emerge as a fledgling, but a formidable solution. 2b3d recognizes Linden Lab for its innovation and its competitive spirit. We have gone to great lengths to innovate right along beside them. Creating solutions using there tools that haven’t been seen yet. We focus on what hasn’t been done yet, what the virtual world’s can do for the customer in terms of advancing their business, not so much recreating their office space, but more about delivering their service and products to customers in a more personal, high touch way.

We enable warehouses in which users can do real inventory counts, we create work flow to show how broker’s make trades with old technology versus new technology, we demonstrate the size of the component builder to assemble at a more focused detail of composition. We get into the psychology of the health club to change people from the inside first,, and we teach people how to sleep better by building their sleep behaviors right along beside them.

Virtual World Appliances here they come! Solution providers who build Power Point stations and meeting rooms to capture agenda and “next slide please”, great, standardize on those as virtual billfold components. But, if you want to keep innovating, it’s going to be better to get to know your clients production side of the business and start making money with virtual worlds with them. They knowledge management reduces costs, replaces travel, and the water cooler, but these are just the costs of doing business in virtual worlds. The stickiness is in revenue generation with innovators who work closely with their customers, instead of stepping aside for automation.

The new success paradigm: the Happiness Factor.

2b3d arrives into the Blogosphere!

September 15, 2009

2b3d or not 2b3d that is the question?

2b3d is an enabler of virtual world opportunities and has come to play in the blogosphere. We have one burning desire at 2b3d – to make virtual worlds a technology that will simplify our lives and let us have more fun doing it.  If it does that, we all succeed.

2b3d is a breakaway company in virtual worlds and is positioned to take you along that path in the most friendly and precise way. We specialize in creating and living in worlds that tell stories, engage avatars, and create compelling engagement to motivate and captivate you and your collaborators.

We’re all about the doing here, not just the being here.

2b3d wants you to do something with your time that is productive, fun, and stimulating. While visiting and occupying worlds, we encourage you to link together social networks, intellectual contributions and digital lifestyles. We embrace connecting to the company database. But, it’s not just about the database, it’s about the human race. And we want to connect you and all your collaborators together in a way that reduces all the noise of information management.

We are dedicated to expanding virtual worlds further by combining entertainment, learning and business in a world rich with communities of practice, mentors, measurement and humor.

2b3d’s clients and their clients spend time in virtual world meetings collaborating on product design, sales and support. They capitalize their assets by sharing their expertise, building their own virtual spaces while learning from each other, doing business and getting comfortable in their avatar skins. They visualize worlds that look like their familiar surrounds. And the adventuresome visualize nanoworlds, where they live inside their  products in a new visual way. It’s not about the just the electrons anymore, it’s about the physics of objects, the chemistry of interaction, and the biology of adaptation that you can explore in virtual worlds that looks a lot different from your office and water cooler.

2b3d differentiates by collaborating with everyone dedicated to making virtual worlds the best solution that technology has to offer. We know virtual worlds are an integrative technology that combines wikis, blogs, social networking, front and back office, databases, programming, interactivity, connectivity to physical machines through sensors and potentially through biodata. We believe virtual worlds are an “aggregator” technology that helps you bring it all together — the physical world, the 2D world and the 3D virtual world.

It’s not about the revolution, it’s about the evolution of the technology. We say leverage what you do well now, and introduce the technology in meaningful ways that help you grow. Keep using trusted ways, trusted resources, and trusted partnership. Add a 3D interface, interactivity and metrics and make it easier to see and act with meaning.

2b3d are friends of many groups, movements, research organizations, conferences, visionaries and seers. We know it’s not just about the theory of this environment, but about the practice and the rapid feedback you can get from nurturing professional communities. It’s all about the experiential design, how you engage, explore and activate the mind and the relationship.

2b3d is about reducing the carbon footprint, leaving our cars in our garages and building the metaverse to be the place where we build the knowledge economy. We are strong supporters in asking why drive into work to sit in front of a computer and meet other people in conference rooms. We ask why keep building large edifices that are empty at night and consume energy to keep the lights and air conditioning on. We challenge the amount of productivity you can get done while sitting in the familiar setting of home and working in a mirrored world of  offices, manufacturing plants and cities. We know its not just about the application of technology, but the integration in your lifestyle.

2b3d’s Bottom Line: A virtual world is made for experience, interactivity, fun and partnerships. And we’re here to prove that by working with all the virtual communities and emerging platforms to achieve singularity of purpose – advancing our culture with technology and achieving a shared consciousness of practice and improvement.

2b3d wants users to be habituated to the environment because it is their work place and entertainment space of the future. If they are inspired, it is their work place, their school, and their creative place already.

We want the value chain to be competent and certified for providing value. And we want market confidence, security, trust and relationships abounding in this environment. In our experience and research we have found ten enablers that make this technology worth taking a hard look at.  Not every virtual world possesses these enablers, but they provide a strong and compelling argument for discussing various platforms.

1) User content generation – enables everyone

2) Embedded IP in all objects – enables value system

3) Transaction system based on a currency exchange – enables business

4) Programmability of objects – enables functionality

5) Free access to an ‘open-source’ client – enables access

6) Interoperability across the grid – enables sharing

7) Web integration – enables leverage of Internet assets

8) Communication connectivity – enables international communication

9) Security – enables trust

10) Owned personal space and trusted shared space – enables community

We’ve been thinking about this transformation for 30 years, and building toward it as as business professionals, academicians, and transformers of change. 2b3d wants to get it right for everyone in order to share the possibilities. We want this experience to have a scientific base in human computer interfaces, psychology, sociology, information, and business productivity. So we are tightly connected to the university as well as the research world and the business world.

2b3d brings together a senior team of designers, business professionals, cognitive scientists, econometricians, gamers, and renowned advisors to acculturate your company into the 3D Web. We focus on creating an identity, a brand, a reputation, and a facility of use that is as natural as working in the physical worlds of our major cities, but without the stress, carbon fumes, and throng.

We look to extend the technology and the habits through the global community to enhance experience, to build trust, ensure loyalty and enhance communication. But, it’s just not about globalization, it’s also about localization – making localized worlds from diverse international places. That is something you can only do in a virtual world.

So my point is – Dip a toe, then jump headlong, and become 3D. You don’t want to be saying, “I should have made this investment two years ago”.

2b3d or not 2b3d, that is the question and 2b3d is the answer.

That is our story, and we’re sticking to it. We hope to see you prosper along the way. And we’re proud to be entering into the blogosphere to share our journey with you.

Ran Hinrichs

Managing Partner, 2b3d

Affiliate Faculty, iSchool, Virtual Worlds, University of Washington

September 15, 2009