Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jibe Android

I'm very excited to announce our first successful tests of Jibe on the Android platform! Using Unity 3.4 and Jibe 1.4 and only minor tweaks to the Jibe codebase, a nearly-full Jibe kit was built into an Android package. We have tested this on a couple of devices so far, the Samsung Epic 4G running Froyo, and a couple of Honeycomb tablets, and it works great on both!

Take a look at this video for a demo of it in action.

We'll be working on a mobile-friendly UI for Jibe to accommodate finger touch controls, and offering more support for device hardware (tilt sensors, etc) over the next month.

Friday, July 22, 2011

sySTEMic showcases Jibe 1.4

sySTEMic, our new portal world using Jibe 1.4 world linking technology "JiWay", will begin collaboration sessions and presentations next week.  An early peek can be found here today for machines with good 3D graphics capabilities.  Next month our lower spec versions will follow.

Some of the things available to try in sySTEMic enabled by Jibe 1.4 are:
  • UniSky weather integration (requires the UniSky prefab to be purchased)
  • Pathfinding integration for simple A.I. 
  • iTween examples
  • JiWay portal integration to enable travel to other Jibe based virtual worlds
  • Deeper Vivox voice integration
  • CSS/Ajax web templates
Coming next month to sySTEMic:
  • Mindstorm/Robotics interactions
  • Inworld event tracking 
  • Deeper BIDI robot tutorials
  • Networked iTween events
  • Web Services driven networked weather effects
  • More JiWay linked worlds
  • Non-Human avatars
When you login to sySTEMic there is a small kiosk with some weather symbols.  When close enough to it you will see buttons appear to the left of your view to change the weather from sunny to light rain, heavy rain and storms.  If you stay in long enough you will notice when sunny is set that day/night cycles happen even changing the real-time shadow effects.

Today we will post the preliminary presentations and brainstorming sessions on the calendar you can bring up within the same browser tab as Jibe.  We look forward to chatting with you regardless of what virtual world you use in sySTEMic starting next week.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jibe 1.4 Released

We're proud to announce that Jibe 1.4 is released today! Our latest update to the core platform includes several new features, and a handful of bugfixes, specifically:

New Features
  • HTML template file for publishing to web - the produced WebPlayer.html will contain all required Jibe supporting code by default.
  • Push-to-talk button included in the GUI for any scene with Vivox voice (compatability may still vary from browser to browser and cross operating system).
  • Ground-sit option added for sitting on terrain
  • New JiWay prefab swirling blue gas gate object with pre-configured options to some Jibe worlds
  • Teleport on Click script that enables an object to be a clickable teleport point
  • Attach object to avatar code is the beginning of full attachment support for hats, jewelry, skirts, and more. This code is still in an early stage of development, but attachments are networked events, and will be seen by all avatars currently connected to a space
  • Network event support improved significantly - no changes required to Network Controller for future messages over the network, now you can do all calls from a separate script - see the AttachObjectToAvatar.cs code for an example

  • Javascript errors removed
  • Some movement / animation bugs tweaked
  • Code enhancements for easier interaction with the core UI base
For details on purchasing Jibe 1.4, upgrades and support credit bundles, please head to our shop for more information. For all other enquiries please head to our support site at and we'll gladly assist.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to spread the word about your Jibe world with Social Media Buttons

Jibe is a multiuser virtual world you create and share with people on the web. All you need to do is give people a URL and bingo, they are visting your world.

This means you can also leverage all the handy web-based social media buttons out there to let your visitors easily share your Jibe world with a wide audience.

There's a huge selection of such buttons you can use. For my own Jibe world, I decided to add the following:
If you click on the links above, you'll find instruction pages on how to add each of them.

Here's what they look like at the top of my own Jibe webpage.

Know of other useful social media buttons? Share your suggestions in the comments!

-John "Pathfinder" Lester

Monday, July 11, 2011

Poll # 3-Platform of Choice

For our 3rd weekly poll we asked:
"For development of virtual worlds which platform is most critical to be on in 2011/2012?"

The choices being:
  1. Browser Mac and PC
  2. Desktop Mac and PC
  3. iOS/Android Mobile and Tablet
  4. Console Wii, PS3, Xbox 360
We had 50 responses:

1-Browser Mac and PC:
  • "Because then there is no need to install additonal software to go into a virtual world"
  • "Browser based 3D worlds and 3D internet is the future for accessibility"
2-Desktop Mac and PC:
  • "Although, laptops and other platforms are improving, The desktops have an edge in the ability to handle the graphics load and heat issues. The gaming platforms do offer better graphics but, not everyone has a game platform"
  • "Need large screen size"
  • "A desktop app gives you all the real estate you can get for the screen...doing 3D landscaping, etc, is better fascilitated by a screen that can show the detail and the flow of the'll not get that on a small screen"
  • "I think standalone applications will still be the default for quite a while yet. People are used to it with games, SL like virtual worlds, etc. It seems less ephemeral than merely clicking on a web link"
  • "I use both"
  • "Desktop program is the root process YOU can control. Trying to develop for a wide variety of browsers and still run consistently with out a bug-a-baloo going on is wishful thinking. Developing for iPhone/Droid/Pads/Tablet is not cost effective as they are not dominant in the market and many don't have the computing power/graphics ability to truly show off the virtual world the the end user. (IMO)"
  • "I feel that the most productive work in regards to actually building it is best to use it on PC vs mobile/tablet. The browser and tablet option is good only if you plan on attending a short meeting"

3-iOS/Android Mobile and Tablet:
  • "Horizontal vs. vertical viewing"
  • '"Mobile platforms are becoming more ubiquitous to the average employee/student"
  • "Tablet market especially ripe for showcasing use of virtual environment for something other than traditional gaming"
  • "Portability"
  • "The mobile computing world is where everything is headed"
  • "I'm looking to develop an mobile app for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Most people use tablets/mobile phones vs. laptops when travelling in 2014"
  • "PC's are becoming obsolete. Mobile (of various sizes) is the future"
  • "Driving user mobility & cloud interaction"
4-Console Wii, PS3, Xbox 360:
  • "Got one myself"

Note-This survey is slanted, in terms of questions, to ReactionGrid Inc.'s needs to develop a roadmap.
Note 2-Some responses were seemingly incomplete or not understandable perhaps due to language challenges or similar.  If you do not see your response feel free to add it below as a comment.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Self Interview on ReactionGrid Inc. Roadmap

I have decided to self interview today to talk about our companies overall roadmap.  Since CNN nor even MSNBC called me back I figured this was the next best thing, err, the only thing.

Kyle1: Hello Kyle ready for the interview?

Kyle2: Obviously I am yes.

Kyle1: No need to be sarcastic.

Kyle2: Let's move forward shall we?

Kyle1: Ok but take a chill pill.  What is the plan for ReactionGrid Inc. over the next year?

Kyle2: We will build the best virtual world platform for desktop & browser Mac and PC and beat everyone to having the first full fledged virtual world on Android & iOS.  It will not be a silly streaming video thing it will be the real deal.

Kyle1: Pretty big plans, who spiked your Wheaties this morning?

Kyle2: Just stating the facts, expect mobile coolness in a few months.  You know you could have dressed better for this interview is that a Superman t-shirt?

Kyle1: Yep, same one you're wearing.  How do you rate against SecondLife & their new CEO Rod Humble?

Kyle2: SecondLife doesn't do what we do.  We are strictly platform builders.  They manage a virtual world.  The closest we come to that is our demo/portal worlds which are there to show off the worlds of others and our technology.  Rod gets the same challenge from me as M Linden, let's debate, let's see you speak out on social media, let's see you build something in SL and show you get it like your residents do.  We want SL to grow and be profitable right along with us.  There is plenty of room for choice.

Kyle1: It has been said you are Jibe/Unity3D focused, does this mean Opensimulator isn't a favorite at RG?

Kyle2: It is true we are investing in Jibe in a big way.  However it does not do what Opensimulator does and in most ways it will never match all the features Opensimulator provides.  We will support both platforms moving forward.

Kyle1: Getting back to the Superman t-shirt, are you serious?

Kyle2: Don't make me break out my Thundercats t-shirt.  Snarf snarf.

Kyle1: You mention mobile devices, why do you care?  Why should I, errr you care, wait I asked that, this is confusing?

Kyle2: Mobile devices allow us to focus on particular hardware features, knowing most tablets have a accelerometer, GPS, camera, light sensor, gyroscope in addition to portability and touch UI means augmented reality is coming fast and virtual worlds will become pervasive when smartly applied.

Kyle1: What is your companies business model?

Kyle2: Developing a virtual world platform, hosting virtual worlds, selling virtual goods and services.  Possibly getting into the RG t-shirt business.

Kyle1:  Jibe clearly seems to be a big part of your business, how can we feel confident this bootstrapped, tiny company will be around next year to complete Jibe?

Kyle2: The owners of the company are true virtual world advocates.  Also we are developers at heart and we know how to listen, adjust and deliver.  We are currently adopting an Agile development process that is being integrated with our virtual world platform Jibe.  This will soon be a product as well as a way to keep us lean, developing fast and delivering quality on time.

Kyle1: Last question for today, what is the biggest challenge you face moving forward?

Kyle2: People thinking the CEO is crazy because he asks himself questions.  And wears cartoon t-shirts.  Despite this I have a handle on what users want in virtual worlds because I ask them for critical feedback and our team reacts accordingly.  We have much to do developing our product but things look very promising.

Kyle1: Fair enough thank you for taking the time to talk to you today.

Kyle2: This is the weirdest interview I have ever had but I enjoyed it.

Kyle1: Never ask me to do this again.

Kyle3: Did I miss lunch?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ReactionGrid Inc. Virtual World Poll #2.

Our last roadmap poll, yes you are a huge factor in deciding what we do and when, we asked "Why do you use 3D virtual worlds?".

The 4 options were:

  1. Socializing with friends
  2. Creating 3D items and environments
  3. Meeting and Brainstorming with colleagues
  4. Other

    Here are the results (96 responses):

Here are some of the comments...
Socializing with friends:
"To make friends"
"To meet my friends there and have fun"
"Lately, just for catching up with friends and relaxing by exploring different lands (islands, sims, etc)"

Creating 3D items and environments:
"I create and script little things that might be of use to educators"
"Student modeling of conceptual understanding"
"Fun and Games. Create, Build, Roam, Interaction"
"Entertainment. Self fulfillment. Setting and completing goals. Acquiring virtual wealth and property. Making friends that can help me achieve my goals"
"Just build things for fun"
"I make interactive art installations"
"Create educational and training environments"
"I am interested in all aspects of VWs, from business development to creative application.  However, to date "I have mostly used them to creative interactive narratives and film. I am deeply interested in the future of creative media for entertainment, journalism and business. VWs are one future-media element, and I would like to mash them up with other emerging elements"
"Building simulations for teaching; exploring the possibilities of vw for teaching"

Meeting and Brainstorming with colleagues:
"Meet with other teachers"
"I attend events with speakers, I build, socialize and collaborate! I also teach in Second Life (graduate seminars)"
"Connecting with other nonprofit and educator colleagues, organizing virtual trainings, workshops and mixed- reality events"
"I use 3D virtual worlds to learn & to admire those who use creativity to create"

"I use it for my virtual school"
"Educating and organizing community"
"To COLLABORATE in creating 3D objects"
"All of the above and more"

Note-This survey is slanted, in terms of questions, to ReactionGrid Inc.'s needs to develop a roadmap.
Note 2-Some responses were seemingly incomplete or not understandable perhaps due to language challenges or similar.  If you do not see your response feel free to add it below as a comment.