Wednesday, October 08, 2008

French Boulanger could use a Rebake in Second Life

Yesterday I received news that a new company had opened up shop in Second Life. And this time it really is shop, as not merely opening up a presence, but opening up a retail point. Today I went in for a visit. The shop we're talking about is a French Multimedia and Electronics store named Boulanger.

The island is a single, isolated one, not connected to the popular mainland shopping areas, so probably they're not counting on casual passersby noticing the shop while strolling through busy mainland malls where I had expected it to be. When we look at the build, it's of pretty good design and quality, better than that of most mainland stores, but when it comes to sales, it's all about content.

Dancing on the Ceiling

Upon arrival I see the usual jumble outside. Again, it is of good quality, but you'ld expect nothing less from a build which has been done by IBM. However, I was under the impression I came to shop, so I wasn't really dressed up to go racing in VW Beetles, flying helicopters and do a Lionel Ritchie kind of Dancing on the Ceiling. If I was looking for virtual entertainment, I'd probably do it elsewhere (unless they would come up with a very good mixed reality mix, but no festivities were going on)






Let's have a look at the aims of this build.

The French retail company Boulanger announced today the opening of a store in Second Life with development and planning help from IBM Research and Global Business Services. The goal is to complement Boulanger's physical stores and website with an additional distribution channel and additional services. Initially the build allows users to view and interact with Boulanger objects in a familiar context, click to be taken to the purchase page on a website, watch service and repair videos, or talk directly to a maintenance aide.

IBM says it had two objectives in the build: "develop a community aspect through the 3D universe and propose new services (configuration of kitchen, cooking lessons, guides, etc.) -- while integrating the three complementary distribution channels."

So far retail hasn't really taken off as a use for virtual worlds, particularly with big pricetag items like Boulanger's specialties of "leisure, multimedia and households products." The relatively high barrier to entry for Second Life (I had to download a new version after clicking on the SLURL from the press release) doesn't help much either.

Full story on Virtual World News.

True, I'd been entering Second Life for the past months with an outdated SL client, the version released in march 2008 and had been able to hover around without forced updates uptill now. This due to the fact that the previous latest client had problems with several graphical cards. Fortunately, this latest version worked fine though.

Real Life Replica

When looking at the general build and layout of the island it is very real-life-ish in look and feel, and the last of the above pictures shows a rotating cube displaying the locations of the Real Life Boulanger stores. Time to head on to the main venue.


The frustrating thing was, it had closed doors. I had a hard time finding a way in, which I believe should not be part of the proposed new services. The store itself looked rather empty. Rather than that it was actually empty, it also felt empty.

Let's be honest, the store just opened up. It will take some time to make stuff available through this sales channel, so maybe that issue will be cleared. Nonetheless, I doubt if it will be a profitable saleschannel in the near future. Truth is, Virtual Worlds like Second Life are still a niche market, especially when you only focus on the French speaking world.

Let's get down to business

At one point in the main venue, a gigantic layout of one of their real life stores hovered, and this is where a Business Case could have been made for operating an outfit in a Virtual World.



I would have very much appreciated an island with no social decoration, no immersive experience helicopters and just a naked empty store if it would have been a clear training and R&D site. What I mean is this:

If you build huge real life store with tons of products it takes a massive amount of design and calculation to sort out what the best routes are. Where do you place your products, how wide should the aisles be. How do you position your products. Which ones do you single out and promote to your shoppers.

With IBM's knowledge and expertise to do tracking & tracing in Second Life (see Wimbledon for instance) they could have made the build an experiment in logistics. They could have build a user testsite in which they could track customers to see where they would be going first. To see what the patterns arewhich customers are walking through a store of this size, or what the best logistic routes would be for employees to refill shelves with products from the storage in order to improve planning, logistics and real life sales.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/boulanger3D/203/188/23

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Can You See Me Now?

These days many of us are wondering what the real use of virtual worlds is. There's a slight shift towards augmented, or mixed reality. Mixed reality, in which the real world and the virtual come together isn't new. Have a look at this video.


"Can You See Me Now? is a game that happens simultaneously online and on the streets. Players from anywhere in the world can play online in a virtual city against members of Blast Theory. Tracked by satellites, Blast Theory's runners
appear online next to your player on a map of the city. On the streets, handheld computers showing the positions of online players guide the runners in tracking you down. "

This game dates back to 2001, there's more on Blast Theory.co.uk

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Friday, August 22, 2008

ArcelorMittal: Virtual Stocks

Due to family issues I've not been poking around Second Life for quite some time now, and it's been a while since I've seen interesting reports and blogs on new companies entering the world of Second Life. Although I've not immersed myself for several months now, I did keep a close tap on several noteworthy blogs through my feedreader, and didn't see any new (noteworthy) companies entering Second Life.

We all know companies aren't as eager to enter Second Life as they once were (over a year ago), but every once in a while one does enter, and this time it's the worlds' largest Steel company:

"ArcelorMittal is the largest steel company in the world, with 310,000 employees in more than 60 countries. It has led the consolidation of the world steel industry and today ranks as the only truly global steelmaker. The company was founded in 2006 when Arcelor and Mittal Steel merged. It ranked at 39th position in Fortune Global 500 companies list. The company is headquartered in Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg, the former seat of Arcelor."

[Wikipedia]

Somehow you don't see a steelcompany to be a hip, Web 2.0 ready company, but Arcelor is doing the social Jive. In 2007 it launched its own Web TV, and inaugurated their virtual presence on June 17 this year. Here is the account from the ArcelorMittal blog:

"On June 17, ArcelorMittal held its annual Individual Shareholder Event. Whether in Japan, Russia or Europe, shareholders were able to listen in, ask questions
and access information - all in real time - as they were transported into a virtual ArcelorMittal world!

15 ArcelorMittal shareholders arrived at the snazzy lounge set-up at Luxembourg headquarters as Lakshmi Mittal, our
Chairman and CEO, hosted ArcelorMittal’s 2008 Individual Shareholder meeting. Another 60 existing and potential shareholders joined the event via Second Life – a virtual meeting centre which enables you to create your own character by choosing your physical features and your virtual name.

Another great advantage for shareholders was the possibility to consult the Company’s different publications (Activity Report, Fact Book, Sustainability Report, etc.) in one direct click from the meeting centre.

After a brief presentation by Julien Onillon, VP Investor Relations, outlining the Group’s growth targets and ambitions, shareholders were invited to put their questions to Mr Mittal via instant message. My favourite one? How do you make steel?!"

I haven't visited the facility yet, so I can't really show much more than a YouTube video of the meeting, but I think I'll peek in to see what they've actually built.





Here's a number of links to press coverage of this event:

So what do we do now ?

The question is, did it work out, and what will ArcelorMittal do with their Second Life presence in the future? I don't know yet, here's a quote from a sceptic blog:

Just read in MINT newspaper that Arcelor Mittal had organised shareholder meeting in Second Life, the popular online virtual world.

The result?? Well, the results were not even close to good, atleast that's what the newspaper reported. for this 90-minute long event around 50 avatars turened up. The event was confused and uncertain. The residents were puzzledabout what are they suppose to do. They kept asking so, what do we do now?

As for as the company is concerned they realized that it is difficult to find investors, especially on such sites!

So, What do we do now?? :)


Well, I'm for one am going to enjoy my last day of the summer holidays and seek out to visit the Arcelor site in Second Life in the near future.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Pando/135/143/100

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dark Discovery: a promising ARG

Just little over an hour I ago Reuben Steiger, Millions of Us CEO announced the release of the worlds first ARG through his twitterstream. As already defined by Wikipedia, an ARG is:


"An alternate reality game is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants’ ideas or actions."

On the Millions of Us blog we find the introduction to the story:



2 weeks before the launch of the new Fox show “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” a website for an unusual company
appeared
. In their first video they claimed to have developed a tachyon camera that sensed faster-than-light particles and could therefore generate images of the future.


Their first blog post generated significant online controversy, with 53 posts suggesting ways of testing the camera’s capabilities. In their second video, the researchers followed the audience’s suggestions, taking photos of mirrors, newspapers, and cityscapes. The images they revealed suggested a dark and apocalyptic future.
Soon the audience became directly involved in the story,
digging up similar camera devices around the United States.


Finally, the researchers found themselves being hunted by a deadly entity seeking to stop their work permanently. The drama built to an explosive conclusion in the Sausalito parking lot of Enitech’s offices. Now that it’s concluded we’d like to show you a bit of it.


If you want to know more, check out Enitechlabs.com.


Introductions may look good, but the screening of the story may be disappointing. The preview though posted at the MoU blog looks very impressive though and may put the MoU back into the drivers seat of the mixed reality metarati:





The ARG is part of the new Fox tv series "The Sarah Connor Chronicles". Does the name ring a bell? Here's a little info on the show:



"At the end of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," Sarah vanquished the Terminator sent from the future to kill her teenage son, John. Sarah and John now find themselves alone in a very dangerous, complicated world. Fugitives from the law, they are confronted with the reality that still more enemies from the future, and the present, could attack at any moment.


TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES reveals what happens when SARAH (Lena Headey) stops running and goes on the offensive against an ever-evolving technological enemy bent on destroying her life, and perhaps the world. Her son, 15-year-old JOHN CONNOR (Thomas Dekker), knows that he may be the future savior of mankind, but is not yet ready to take on the mantle of leadership that he's told is his destiny. John finds himself inextricably drawn to CAMERON (Summer Glau), an enigmatic and otherworldly student at his high school, who soon proves to be much more than his confidante - she assumes the role of Sarah and John's fearless protector. On their trail are not only threats from the future, but an intelligent and tough FBI agent, JAMES ELLISON (Richard T.Jones), who soon becomes a powerful ally."

The Enitech website and blog is supporting the show, being the official blog for the resistance. Read the blog to find out more about the Terminator machines, the SkyNet company and the show episodes of course. Here's an entry from the blog:

"Brief update in the wake of the Enitech tragedy

March 3rd, 2008

Enitech admin here again. As many of you have now heard, Enitech Research labs was destroyed and several employees were killed last week. I’ve heard a rumor that a media outlet was able to get a hold of video footage, an interview with Anna Kies, before her untimely death during the Enitech Attack. Hopefully this will shed some light on the many questions we still have in the wake of such a senseless tragedy.

Posted in EniTech News 11 Comments »"

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fiat inverts reality

A little while ago I blogged Fiat Brasil in Second Life. Today I saw two commercials of the Fiat Punto. I liked the sense of humour they'd put into their Second Life presence. These two commercials also have a nice sense of humour.

The first video is what I'd call inverted reality.



Is this second video something you dream of? If only you could really meet the virtual girl of your dreams...


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Eduverse Symposium (1) Introduction








This weeks second cross reality event was held at the exact same spot (de Balie in Amsterdam )as the Fasion show in the previous blogpost. This time it was the massive Eduverse Symposium on Virtual Education.




I had the honour to kick off the 7 hour marathon session with a short introduction on the programme and a couple of brainwaves on virtual education in which I remarked that were still basically dealing with traditional forms of education (i.e. books and classrooms and stuff) which have been around since the 1700's while our life has become more and more digitized in the past ten years. All our ways of communicating, information gathering and learning experiences have been affected by technological advances, but it has barely hit the classroom yet. No wonder that 90% of everything we learn is learnt outside school in our private / social time. Teachers are no longer the authority when it comes to knowing things. They've been substituted by wikipedia.




On the other hand the amount of information we have to juggle is getting bigger and more complex every year. (read some thoughts here) so Education has a challenge. Today was about giving some demo's to get people inspired in thinking about Virtual Worlds as a tool in modelling complex issues and add some playfulklness along the way as well.




We had an impressive list of speakers who gave their pitches from the real life location, from Second Life and through Skype Video on a range of subjects, varying from technology updates to a philospophical session on why we have education anyway.


Augmented Reality




One of the Key Pitches today was in my opinion the one by Jay Bolter (a.k.a. James Lillenthal in SL) from Georgia Tech on augmented reality. At the GT they'd made a little lego room on a table, put a camera on it and we were able to walk into the video in Second Life.


3D Sperms


Another highlight in showing the potential of 3D environments in teaching complex matters was a demo by Dr. D. Danforth of the Ohio State University who build a model of how sperm grows. Apparently this is a very hard thing to explain and visualising this has greatly aided the students in understanding the process.





I'm kind of relying on Rick Cassini from Digado to (cross-)post more detailed information on the demo's.

We didn't fill the hall as much as we'd liked, but what can you expect when you organize an event like this on such short time notice. We got the idea only about two weeks ago. And aside from people being physically present, the event was streamed to about 10 SL locations to start with, each attracting a crows and ending up with about 20 locations as streams got added continuously. The event was also streamed to the web at Meta.Live.Nu and a full replay can be found here at de Balie archives.


ThankU's


A big thanks to Damien Simons of the UptheVortex blog for the pics, and to Bart Bockhoudt of the DutchExchange and DeBalie for sponsoring the event.


Another word of thanks goes to one of the speakers, Dr. Yesha Sivan (a.k.a. Dera Kit in SL) from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv, Israel. He was kind enough to use the MindBlizzard blog as one of his sources in his presentation. It's a funny thing to see when you're in the audience, watching a presentation and suddenly recognise your own writing (though it isn't the first time it happened to me).


Just a quick overview of how widelyspread the symposium was:


The event will be streamed on the web at: http://streams.live.nu/ (UK) http://www.debalie.nl/live (NL) and will be viewable afterwards from De Balie archives
The event will also be available to be seen live in Second Life at these locations:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Virtual+Holland/157/79/23
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon+Eyre/210/203/23
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Groningen+Centrum+ZO/205/208/113
http://slurl.com/secondlife/maya/163/66/24
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Business+Exchange/153/207/32
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Amsterdam+2/205/205/25
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Enschede/133/212/22
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Nuova+Sicilia/88/166/33
http://slurl.com/secondlife/New+Berlin/131/131/31
http://slurl.com/secondlife/New+Berlin/244/166/33
Should you wish to stream it yourself, then it is possible using this url:
rtsp://82.94.217.140:80/balieh264-320x240.mov.sdp
It will also be streamed live simultaneously with the following codecs for low speed internet connections:
http://live.nu/1.ram ( RealVideo)
http://live.nu/1.m3u (Mp3 audio mono)
http://live.nu/1.jpg > http://cam.live.nu/ ( image refresh 'webcam')

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Fashion Fusion

Amsterdam is the place to be this week if you want to get a taste of mixed reality so it seems.

First of the cross-reality events this week was the First Fusion Fashion show at de Balie in Amsterdam (Leidseplein), organised by The Artist Advice. The event was simulcasted with a fashionshow in Second Life, by Ewing Fashion Agency with creations Nicky Ree, Aphrodite Outlander, Sysy Chapman and EFA Design Awards finalist Indira Bekkers.






Outside the entrance of de Balie you'd find the red carpet catwalk ending in a big screen projecting the Second Life fashion show. It wasn't 100% cross-reality but it was a good start of the week.


SL pictures by Tillie Ariantho's

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Fundraising 2.0

In the past few months I've seen quite a few NGO's enter Second Life, such as the Red Cross, Disabled Sports, Flying Doctors, the MacArthur Foundation , Dance 4 Life and a few others. This sudden onrush kept nagging me.




The Current Blogoshpere


When it comes to the Blogosphere there's two blogs that stick out when it comes to keeping track of these things: First of all there's Beth's Blog that has a keen eye on everything Non Profit and secondly the fabulous Ugotrade blog where Tara5 Oh (left) regularly posts real works of love and labour on Mixed Reality and with a good heart to the poor and needy of this world.



This post will probably be a work of labour and very Ugotradish in size and subject as well...



This past week I got spammed by the ElfenCircle for a Relay For Life building entry and that nagged me again. After rereading some of the entries on both the aforementioned blogs I started thinking on this post. When Al 'superscooper' Kronos blogged Virtuool and The Fight Against Cancer I knew this was a post I had to make.


Traditional Fundraising & The 21st Century Philantropist

It's actually a while since I've been giving NGO's much of a thought. We, the Dutch, have always been generous givers when it comes to relief aid and mission workers in Africa and Asia. In the past years this culture is slowly changing. It's not that people are getting greedy, but the way they want to spend their money has changed.



In the 20th century it was a natural thing to pick 2 or 3 (or more) non profit organisations and sponsor them annually. Many organisations organised themselves accordingly: You knew how much sponsors you'd have, so you know what next years'budget will look like.



The 21st century do-gooder has a different mindset though. No longer long-term commitments, long term sponsorship, but occasional, dedicated sponsorship, sort of hit-and-run style philantrophy.



This is causing traditional NGO's a severe headache since they see shaky budgets and worry about keeping all their relief aid workers at work. This isn't about 'huge disasters' those are incendent based by definition and a TV rally for Live Aid (1985) is no different than the Tsunami Fundraising a few years back; on both occasions dedicated sponsorship without long term commitment.



In short, generally speaking, NGO's need to find new ways of attracting long term sponsors: the 21st century calls for Fundraising 2.0. The question is: Is Second Life a good platform to expirment with.


Philantrophic Worlds

When it comes to actual fundraising, Second Life is surely a no-no. Tip jars containing L$ 1.600 dollars barely make up for a weeks rent. Virtual World Campaigns are not about raising enough money to fund a relief aid mission to Timbuktu.



As I mentioned in my blogpost on the Red Cross entry at Second Life, depicting a disaster zone, one way is to create awareness, convey a mood or show people the challenges in such areas. This awareness is much more valuable than the lousy linden bucks it brings in tips.



There is a thin line though; It is great to raise awareness but the cost is a consideration. The presence should be sponsored, not funded with sponsorship money.



A Bridge too far?

In search of awareness and commitment I think NGO's overstepped themselves a little. Virtual Worlds such as Second Life are to small to make a difference - yet. It's still a niche thing.



In my opinion the focuspoint of NGO's and Philantrophy should be at the heart of Web 2.0. Relief Aid in most cases is all about commitment. Commitment in small circles of sponsors that want to be informed. Web 2.0's social bookmarking and tagging is offering the ideal tools to create close range awareness. Think of Fair Trade and Relief Aid widgets for Facebook. Mission based YouTube or Flickr streams...

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Suzanne Vega back in SL

Second Life Insider reports:

Want to come and hang out with Suzanne Vega to celebrate the release of her new album, Beauty and Crime? Organize your invitation here - heaven knows this is going to fill up quickly.
Vega will be appearing in Second Life on Friday, July 13 at 4pm SLT (US Pacific), and will be available to chat with attendees inworld.

"Every visitor will receive a free player for Beauty & Crime, which can be used to outfit their avatar or to host a listening party of their own. Second Life users can also create their own musical street graffiti, explore the sounds of the city, and watch concert footage recorded live at the Hiro Ballroom in New York."
The good thing about this one is that it's by invitation. Don't want to ruin Beauty by lag and Crime by Griefers.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Eco Savvy Eolus

Although I was stressed because of my doubledate (which later evolved into a triple and even quadruple date), tonight's main venue was the sneak preview of Eolus One.

The best way of introducing Eolus is by quoting another excellent Ugotrade post:
"I met Eolus McMillan from Implenia on Second Life yesterday. And, I heard the extraordinary story of how creative minds from different backgrounds, IBM, SAP, Wago, Zumtobel and Implenia amongst others, have come together to make a major leap towards 3D internet. The fruits of this collaboration will be unveiled on July 6th, on Second Life. The picture above shows a birds eye view of EOLUS One on Second Life.

The most important aspect of this breakthrough is the EOLUS focus on Real Life and Second Life interactions that serve to make a better world - addressing many aspects from CO2 Reduction, Energy Management, Health, to Education, Collaboration , Networking, and more."


After this excellent blog, the story was quickly picked up by Nick Wilson of Metaversed who quickly arranged a podcast interview to give us a lowdown, followed up by today's Things to Do outing.





















Our host was Eolus McMillan, or Oliver Goh gave us the grand tour of the site, which started at the museum:

"Here you can see the story of how we came up with the idea of Eolus One. It basically started one evening at a European computer exhibition. Ansi and myself met there. She had a booth at the IBM stand showing digital divergence and I was there for the energy management part.

We met one evening and found that we had a common vision to merge the projects and we sketeched out a plan on a napkin, you can see it in the corner. The idea was to bring partners from cross industries together to form a think tank."

Well, on the pics below, you can see that it worked out, there are many well known names participating in this project.

"In this building we have many aspects of every day life that we cover shopping on the first floor an exhibtion/ innovation area in the second offices in the thirs together with residential and an executive floor. Behind me you see a model of a house (still in the museum), a house that I live in in RL. The house can be fully controlled from SL"



















When we came to the control room, Oliver showed us what he meant by controlling his house from Second Life.

"What you see here it the control center of Eolus One. It is actually tied to a number of rl buildings. The idea here is to show how companies can improve Facilities management services
to make the processes more efficient and improve the failure rate.


I will be able to show you the technical parts when the exhibtion opens (which should be open by the time this blog is done). The system is linked in to ERP2005 (SAP) and the whole maintenance process is shown here. You can monitor the hvac systems, change schedules, programm the building automation system and so on. The idea of the control room is that it knows the identiy of the avatar and represents the data in the context of this person. So for example if a finance person sits here he would receive other info on the screens as a technical person"

We're closing in on 7-7-7, Earth Day and Eolus is one more climate savvy project trying Second Life as stage. Yesterday I blogged on the Spanish getting climate savvy in SL as well, and today Philips was giving out energy low lamps.

However, Eolus does hold some extraordinaire potential in making real and virtual worlds interact. This is a show to watch!

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/EOLUS/128/128/0

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Doubledating Doubledown at Starfruit

Yesterday Chris Carella (Creative Director) of the Electric Sheep Company reminded me of a new sim opening today:

"Come party around the clock and across the globe for the launch of Starfruit in Second Life! We’ll be celebrating on the third floor of the tower where DJ Doubledown Tandino will be spinning a live mix of house and eclectic music."

For once the US based content creators start considering the European contingent at Second Life by doing a multiple party show, so I should be gratefull. But I'm not. 11 AM, exactly the same time as today's Things To Do annex Geek Meet outing to Eolus One. In short, I had to run a doubledate with DJ Doubledown Tandino, one of the more popular Mixed Reality turntable wizzards. I did manage to get a small piece of the action though; here's a few partypics:
So much for the party, let's have a look at Starfruit. Basically what it comes down to is this:
"Would you like to surprise someone in Second Life and send them a real gift in real life... but you don't know their real postal address? Don't worry any more... we will take care of everything"
It is a metabrand, a gift service that operates from Switserland and delivers worldwide. For more business info on Starfruit, have a look at KZero's blog.

As you may have guessed by the opening line, the build is done by the Electric Sheeps.
There are some nice details in this build which is moving away from traditional RL based architecture.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

All England SLawn Tennisclub

I've been wondering a lot about why there are so few UK companies in Second Life. Big brands from the US, Germany, Netherlands and Spain seem to be flocking this virtual world, but - to my knowledge - no English corps have immersed yet. A few pointed out that the English were perhaps to conservative, too carefull to thread unchartered waters.

Tonight's Things to Do event was a guided tour around Wimbledon which proves that statement wrong. If there's anything traditional in England, in my opinion, it is Wimbledon. It's history is fabulous.

Although I was an absolute fan of Stephan Edberg, I very much recall the first time Andre Agassi entered the All England Lawn Tennisclub. His long hair and wild clothing was considered provicative at the time and people wondered how he would appear at Wimbledon.... well his appearance was a statement. Wearing the same attire as usual, with stretch pants underneath his shorts and hairbands and all... but totally white to honor the tradition of Wimbledon.

Okay, no pic of Edberg, Agassi or Sabatini here, but of Epredator, IBM's metaverse guru, who's actually at Wimbledon - and still found time to give us the guided tour.

IBM has capturing lots of match data in the past years as ofifical IT partner. That data and the rest of the site is used to extend the experience to people who cant be here. For IBM it is a natural step to use a metaverse for this extended experience.

First of all there are the goodies, the avatar, the clothing and the rackets. You can also buy real life tickets at the Wimbledon shop, but of course the main event is the centercourt.

"its one that we take the pointracker data from the real meta event and inject that into the ball that moves around -- ok the ball is pushed around having made http requests for the data the main scoreboard is then updated. We also then let people take the players eye view. Technically we have a lot more data, the strokes played etc but we are balancing how much code we have to pack in to get aronud http limits in script etc. and on the scoreboard if dynamic flash worked we would just use the normal pub sub scoreboard on wimbledon.org so we are looking see how we can represent the event but as I blogged on eightbar its hard to get data for bits that are not tennis points e.g. e do not capture on court wich chair a player sits on but we can imply things.
we produce DVD's for players in RL of matches which implies things from crowd noise to index the dvd large crowd noise, exciting points etc."


In the demo you could see the balls trajectory quite well. A lot of scripting is going on at this side, though for non-IBM (i.e. visitors) scripting is disabled, as IBM feels they and Wimbledon would be a prime target for griefers / hackers.



Aside from the usual visitors, IBM itself brings in a lot of people at C-Level (ceo/cto/cfo etc) to show their partners what they are doing in Second Life.
"Last year they just laughed alot and said how quaint, but this year they have all heard of SL and want to see what we're doing here."
What a difference a year makes!
And surely we are looking forward to the Australian Open as IBM has already build a complete Rod Lever Arena.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

ABN AMRO Young Professional Launch

Earlier this week I blogged on the upcoming ABN AMRO YP launch. Well, today's the day.
In short, the opening event is a simulcast with DJ Jesse Voorn (Jesse Bourne) performing life in the Panama Club in Amsterdam and in Second Life. It's also a Dance4Life party. I won't go into details on the background much since I've blogged that here.
Anyway, the sim's open now and here are some pics. I see I need to mention a bit of background still to explain it. The sim is intended for Young Professionals. The idea behind the build is a relaxed mediterranean village with harbor, a place where Young Professionals would like to hang out.


The sim's core is a mediterranean village with some nice houses, a harbor and several meeting points like bars, pools and conference center. According to the Dutch Lost in the Magic Forest the build had to be realised in just one week. All buildings are custom made meeting the quality standards whe'd expect from LitMF (both architecturally and texturally speaking), though a number of props like yaughts and furniture were bought.
One of the sims fun things is the Mocassin 1200 Jetski ride (okay, here's a pic from me without the usual business suit). It's strong engine propelled me rapidly forward, causing me to bump into several yaughts and even launched me onto the dance site knocking over a few early dancers.

The Dutch partyscene raced out to be there (many Dutch SL club owners were present as well), and I must say, the party was well organised and every possible dance was prepped, I even saw the "feet of flame". Some minor glitches, such as partybubbles that were causing some lag were quickly disabled before the real event started. Truth be told, it remained quite laggy at times causing a hard time for the streaming media to render properly, but the crowd liked it.

Finally the audio stream was disabled and both image and sound were streamed through the movie, but the soundquality was less than that of the audio stream. All in all I must say the load of the dancefloor, dancers, the sim and the streaming media was too heavy. Sound fell away quite often and it was hard to get a decent snapshout without the stream being blocky.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

We are the Fury Concert

One of todays top attractions is the simulcast (or Mixed Reality as it is called nowadays) event at the NBC Peacock room. A concert by "We are the Fury" will be held both in SL and in the RL NBC studios.

The event starts at 4 SLT (which is way past bedtime for us Europeans - but I got there in time to see the soundcheck)

Here's the add:

Come hear the hot indie/rock/alternative band We Are The Fury as they play both at the RL NBC Peacock Room and the SL NBC Peacock Room.

The band was tagged by Rolling Stone magazine as an Artist to Watch, and you will not want to miss this show!

They will play some of their hit songs and take live questions from the audience (IM JeremyLublin Lykin to talk to the band directly)

For more info, please go to:
www.myspace.com/wearethefury or
www.purevolume.com/wearethefury

Tonights event is cast by the Electric Sheep Company, who does support all NBC events in Second Life. Upon stating that once again this was at a very unconvenient time to us Europeans, their spokeswoman answered that they are looking for timeslots that will make it possible for the whole world to attend (sim/server capacity limits not withstanding)

The Furies themselves are looking forward though to this new experience.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/NBC%201/128/128/0

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