Saturday, October 18, 2008

Coco Deep bridging the gap between web and virtual environments

On september 23rd I attended the 3rd Eduverse symposium in Amsterdam. To me, there was one presentation that lead the show, which was the presentation by Joaquin Alvarado, CEO of San Francisco based Coco Studios, who presented their upcoming 3D environment.

In my opinion this one by far is the most exciting new startup to dig into the Virtual World industry by far, and absolutely one to watch. Over the past weeks I've had some communication with Alvarado about their first product, named Coco Deep, which he kindly asked me to keep private until they were ready for live beta. Right now, they're moving stuff towards production servers to get ready for that kick off.

Since they're not live yet, I'd leave out the details for now, but what I do like to show you is their presentation from the Eduverse symposium.




Coco Deep is not a full virtual world, but rather a 3D environment, a room in with just one dominating element: a wall. Coco Deep is more than just another brick in the wall though, its strength lies in the fact that it's a split screen application. The upper half is your 3D wall, the lower half is your pc and the web. In a Minority Report kind of way you can drag documents, feeds or 3D models from the web or your PC onto your 3D wall, which you can share with others.

The first implementation of the CocoDeep environment has been done in a large educational system and integrated with Sakai, a free and open source Courseware Management System. It features a set of software tools designed to help instructors, researchers and students collaborate online in support of their work--whether it be course instruction, research or general project collaboration.

More to come soon.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

First peek at Hangout

Last week I wrote a first piece about the new 3D environment called Hangout, on hangout.net which currently is in Private Beta. Fortunately I have received an invite for private Beta testing.

Step 1 is registering and creating your avatar. It's pretty sleek, flash based and has a limited set of options right now, so could not make an exact replica of the mighty handsome VeeJay Burns that walks Second Life, but this'll do for the time being.

Step 2 is to download a 400Kb app installer to render your room. This is the amazing Unity webplayer, amazingly small, yet powerfull and full of potential.

Step 3 is to log in and get going. However, something went wrong and I crashed about six times


My Hangout


What I intended to show you was a 3D embedded version of my hangout. Something went wrong there. I'll keep you posted

What you see now is a snapshot of my Hangout... Well, I still have a lot of decorating to do. If you want to see the real thing, you'll have to add 3D to your browser.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Twones: Something new or yet another me2?

It's that time of year again... No, it's not yet Christmas, but september has been a blast with the Virtual Worlds Conference & Expo, TechCrunch Top50, PICNIC 08, EmTech and one on Digital Content Distribution all in one month. No wonder one or two new and exciting startups get overlooked.

Today I came across yet another new startup: Twones, which just went into private Beta. People say it's cool, so let's have a look.


Twones is a music service lets you store, organize, find & share music played all over the web (tracking many services, see image above) or on your computer (like iTunes) to one single point of access. Twones ties all music together and let's you share your taste with others in its most direct way.

It basically works in 4 steps:

  1. Track
  2. Store
  3. Socialize
  4. Discover

I'm not much of a music freak myself, well yeah, I'm an 80's fetishist, but I usually play CD's and don't listen online to music. I've tried Last.FM, it didn't bring me what I needed. So I'll pass on this one as there are enough other lifestreams and aggregators to follow, so for me, Twones is just another Me2 site whcih yet again fails to crack the code. If you are a music lover and use all sorts of media sites you might still wanna check it out.

The good new is that it is yet another Dutch startup like the ├╝bercool Project E, which I blogged yesterday.

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