Friday, March 30, 2012

An Educator's Fieldtrip to Jibe

Part of the reason we do what we do is to help educators. Many of ReactionGrid's earliest and longest-running clients are educators. So, it really excites us to hear new educators exploring and utilizing our technology in the classroom. The latest story comes from Marianne Riis, PhD candidate at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gametech 2012 & ReactionGrid

Today live from Gametech

  1. An open source version of Jibe is underway officially today.  LearnNC & ReactionGrid are partnering to allow teachers and students to qualify for no cost editions of Jibe.   LearnNC will be documenting the self-hosted process for this plan and providing other support and technical improvements to Jibe.  News soon on this so you can get started with Jibe!
  2. Jibe-Enterprise is now available for corporate training, meetings, collaboration and more.  This is a template which allows for visuals and interactivity to be changed at will  via admin control panels and the Unity editor. A low cost educational version is in the works as well.
  3. Jibe-Blend is also underway.  Jibe-Blend is a real-time shared collaborative building system which allows users to model in Blender and stream their work live into a Jibe/Unity3D world.  In the video below you will see Blender's modeling view streamed to Chrome/WebGL that has been embedded within Blender.

    The video shows how you model in Blender and view in WebGL.  We have contracted with the Blender Research Lab to develop this technology to stream to the Unity3D Web Player (then mobile after) live.  We will open source this technology then integrate Jibe networking and later object persistence and placement tools in the live environment when done in Blender.

    Imagine Blender 3D developers being able to network Blender to Blender  for shared design and stream to the live Jibe/Unity3D world in real time then save and place the object inworld persistently!  Now that is a powerful real-time inworld building system that sets up the designers to use an industry standard tool to create great content.

More details in the next couple of weeks!

Presentation at 2012 Follow the Sun: Integrated Reality and Next Generation Virtual Worlds


Follow the Sun 2012 is a free online conference that runs from March 27-30.  Here's a summary from their website:
"Digital Futures Institute, Beyond Distance Research Alliance, Athabasca University, and our commercial partners are proud to provide this year's 48-hour, online learning festival at no charge to all participants. The theme of this year's conference moves beyond educational technology to examine knowledge development and exchange across the disciplines."
I'll be giving an online presentation on Thursday March 29th at 2:30am EDT (yes, that's 2:30am).  The topic will be "Integrated Reality and Next Generation Virtual Worlds."

Here are my slides to give you a preview of what I'll be talking about, and I'll update this blog post with a recording of my presentation after the conference is over. 

Take care,
-John "Pathfinder" Lester
Chief Learning Officer
ReactionGrid Inc.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kyle Gomboy, CEO of ReactionGrid, Speaking at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) Conference

UPDATE 3/16/2012: Kyle is out sick today.  But John "Pathfinder" Lester (ReactionGrid's Chief Learning Officer) will be filling in for him.  The show must go on!

The 5th Annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) Conference starts today and runs through Saturday.  Check out their full conference schedule.

The VWBPE conference is an opportunity for innovative educators, teachers and designers to gather on a global scale for serious discussions and feedback about what is happening in 3D virtual environments and games. 

Kyle Gomboy (CEO, ReactionGrid) will be giving a keynote presentation tomorrow, Friday March 16 at 2pm EDT.  You can attend his presentation in Second Life or tune in and watch it streamed live.

We've got a ReactionGrid booth set up in Second Life during the conference, so please stop by and visit us.

And our good friend David Deeds has a booth right next to us with lots of great information about 3d virtual worlds in K-12/International schools as well as info about his new book, a Jibe/Unity: School Quick Start Guide.

 See you inworld!

-John "Pathfinder" Lester
Chief Learning Officer
ReactionGrid Inc.

Vivox Server Maintenance Tues March 20 @ 5am EDT

Tuesday March 20 at 5am EDT Vivox will be performing a hardware upgrade to the ReactionGrid Vivox server.
Vivox will take the systems for voice chat down for up to 90 minutes to upgrade the underlying hardware. 
During this time, no one would be able to access voice chat.

Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts - Virtual Broad Art Museum in Jibe

The Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA) at Ball State University is a research and design studio exploring virtual reality, simulation, games and interactive interfaces.

IDIA been commissioned to design and build a virtual presence and artworks for the upcoming Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. 

And they're building it with ReactionGrid's Jibe platform!

For more information, check out IDIA's project website.

Chief Learning Officer
ReactionGrid Inc.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jibe Roadmap Update

We’ve been busy bees working on several splendid projects with customers and we have produced some great features that we’re hoping to integrate into the next core Jibe release. For example:

  • Improving the pipeline for adding Jibe to an existing project, removing dependencies on Jibe-specific tags (since you can’t add tags via a Unity package!) – we’ve been experimenting with adding Jibe to a project instead of the opposite way round (adding existing builds and scenes to a Jibe project) and have discovered many angles that need to be refined to streamline the process. To be completed – Layers for cameras! Since layers are also something that can’t be updated from a package, the goal is to make the camera systems more controllable via scripts in the Inspector.
  • More flexibility on UI – making the GUI more controllable, perhaps you have a level where you don’t want users to be able to chat, or perhaps you want to remove the minimap completely.
  • Room variable support – as we’ve mentioned before this will be part of the next release, giving users a broadcast system for scene-wide events for all in a space to see.
  • Single player mode – perhaps you want avatar selection with the option to go multiplayer in future, or perhaps you want to demonstrate your Jibe build without a network connection, or perhaps you’re on a plane and would like to get some work done without an Internet connection (been there…) so we now have a non-network plugin that bypasses all requirements on having a network. You don’t get the multiplayer, but your Jibe code will still be there for testing and will run as normal.
  • Several bugfixes – little quirks that, thanks to tickets from customers and thanks to our own exploration, we have tackled that will improve things for you all.
  • Remove remaining requirements for a Dressing Room – while some folks like using the dressing room, those that use other non-Jibe avatars have asked to be able to remove the dressing room icon from the list.

There are a lot more pieces that we are pulling together, and we'll keep you informed as we get closer to release.

On top of this, with the recent upgrade to Unity 3.5 we will be working on making our bot scripts available to customers for tasks like tutorials (see our sySTEMic world's Tutorial scene for an example). The BIDI bot system uses pathfinding to navigate around as the bot helps you, and he can be programmed to follow you around. As such, we've previously had to rely on an external pathfinding library for the purpose. Now that pathfinding is built-in to Unity, we are hoping to integrate with that system, since we try to have minimal external requirements for our own tools.

If you have any feature requests or have something you really want to see in Jibe, either comment on this post or head to MetaverseHeroes for support.