Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Eduverse Symposium videos online

Finally... they're there. The online video's of the Eduverse Symposium.

"After a considerable amount of time transcoding, uploading and and messing with WP plugins, I have managed to get the entire first symposium parsed and online. The videos are viewable on the “Symposia” page"

If you can stand the sight of me, pay attention to the first intro video, titled "VJ's intro" where I try to start up the conversation on Education in Virtual Worlds. I'd advise you to pay close attention to Dr. Jay Bolter on Augmented Reality and Dr. D. Danforth on the Testis Tour.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Virtual Healthcare 2: Palomar Pomerado Health

This week I suddenly was confronted with more hospital visits than I'd hoped for (though not personal), and kept delaying writing this post for days.

Early april 2007 I wrote a short blogpost on the Cleveland Heart Clinic in Second Life which was probably the first hospital to enter Second Life. The question I ended that particular blogpost with was: "I wonder though, are they about to perform virtual surgery? I'm hoping they can explain what SL can add to hospital care."

The times, they are changing though. Nearly a year later I see how virtual worlds can perform a massive role in education and training. A world like second life offers a lot of opportunities for modelling the complex human anatomy (see for instance the Testis Tour) and virtually practising surgery would overcome a shortage of breathing guinneepigs.

Research company Forrester also sees virtual Healthcare as one of the promising areas when it it comes to the virtual workspace. In the "Getting real work done in Virtual Worlds" they describe one healthcare project in particular:

Developing effective healthcare team coordination. Duke University and Virtual Heroes are collaborating on a high-fidelity 3-D virtual environment for healthcare, funded by the US Army. The initial project, targeting healthcare team coordination skills, is called 3DiTeams and combines gaming concepts with the healthcare team coordination training curriculum developed by the US Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

In the past year we've seen several smaller 'medical experiments' in Second Life, but late February saw two major projects enter Second Life; the IBM Healthcare island and Palomar West, both opening in the wake of the HIMMS'08 healthcare conference.

The Palomar West simulation is a joint effort by Cisco and Palomar Pomerado Health, though in developing the Second Life sim, Cisco has had major help from Millions of Us. The february 25 press release reads:

Cisco® and Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) today cut the ribbon on a new hospital in the online virtual world "Second Life." The virtual hospital, a simulation of a real-world hospital campus due to open in 2011, gives visitors the opportunity to tour the hospital years before its doors actually open.

The virtual hospital showcases the rich assortment of design and technology innovations planned for the real-world Palomar West Medical Campus in San Diego, Calif., and to gather feedback that will be used to enhance the way that care is delivered. The immersive quality of "Second Life" allows visitors to experience the progressive nature-embracing design of the hospital firsthand. Visitors will also be able to experience Connected Hospital technologies that will be delivered in the real hospital by Cisco. (Full press release here.)

In short, The Second Life island is a representation of a new Healthcare campus to be opened in 2011. It actually is a very good build. For n00bs there's a short introduction to navigating Second Life near the entrance of the hospital.

I received my Hospital tag which guided me through the hospital, making sure I went to the right rooms to have my gall bladder repaired. Throughout the tour a lot of information was pushed through excellent movies, but they essentially are a promo talk on the Cisco solutions for Unified Communications, telepresence monitoring, rfID, etcetera. I can see this part of the simulator become real in the near future.

Fully automated, or robot-driven surgery probably won't be integrated in the RL campus opening in 2011.

After surgery I returned to my hospital room for a few second to recuperate, but soon was sent outside as 'clean air' helps a lot for speedy recovery. The downside is that I entered into an 'Al-Gorish' speech about minimizing the footprint, low emission products and more green bla bla.

For information about Cisco Connected Health technologies, visit


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Friday, February 29, 2008

Siemens Solid Edge to enhance Second Life 3D design

PLANO, Texas, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of Siemens Industry Automation Division and a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today announced a new interactive tool that enables users to create their own 3-D Razor Scooter in Second Life. The tool is easy to use like Siemens PLM Software's Solid Edge(R) software and meant to expose Second Life residents to the possibilities of CAD software.

In the real world, Siemens PLM Software hosts "test drive" Solid Edgeseminars to illustrate how easy the software is to use. Solid Edge is apowerful hybrid 2D/3D design system and a core component of the VelocitySeries(TM) portfolio.

In the virtual world, the new interactive tool provides companies a glimpse into the use of 3-D modeling software inproduct development. A transparent screen guides Second Life residents to click through a range of selections to create a custom-built scooter in less than a minute. "

In our industry it's important to be able to vet out design ideas as quickly as possible," says Bob Hadley, product development manager, Razor(R). "In the real-world, with Solid Edge, we're able to introduce at least two or three times as many new products each year as we could previously. To compete in our industry, that's essential. Siemens PLMSoftware is taking this to the next level by integrating real-world design experiences in virtual worlds."

According to a recent report, "Getting Real Work Done In Virtual Worlds," Forrester Research, Inc., Jan. 7, 2008, "Virtual worlds like Second Life ... are on the brink of becoming valuable work tools ... " Thereport notes that virtual worlds have advantages over other approaches to communication and collaboration. One example is "they allow people to work with and share digital 3-D models of physical or theoretical objects. Many disciplines rely on 3-D models and designs: Surgeons, architects, engineers, and product designers all use CAD models or sophisticated visualization systems to explore and create complex real-world objects ...You can release near-final designs to a limited external group of users and solicit feedback before starting fabrication." The report predicts that within five years, the 3-D Internet will be as important for work as the Web is today.

"This new tool is a great example of how companies can use some of the unique characteristics of the Second Life platform to create interactive experiences for their products," said Chris Kelley, vice president, Platforms and Partners, Siemens PLM Software. "Our goal in Second Life continues to be to find new ways to collaborate with our customers and partners in an effort to provide a more immersive way to experience our software. The user experience in Second Life is based upon our successful Solid Edge Dare to Compare Test Drive events where you learn first-hand how easy it is to use Solid Edge compared to competitive products."

In the real world, Solid Edge Dare to Compare Test Drive events guide users through key stages of 3D design: part modeling, sheet metal, assembly creation, drafting and documentation, plus analysis and full motion simulation.

To reach the Siemens Innovation Connection on Second Life, visit

To attend a real-world Solid Edge Dare to Compare Test Drive, visit

Source: PRNewsWire

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