Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Today Dec 2 at 2pm EST
Join me for a session on:
How to Add New Avatars to your Jibe project

I will be using TeamViewer for the session
you can join in a browser or through the TeamViewer Application

Please join the meeting, by clicking on this link:

Meeting ID: m57-723-507

I will begin the Teamviewer session at 1:30pm EST to allow for everyone to get into the Screenshare in plenty of time.
There is voice available through Teamviewer but if there is any troubles we can switch over to Skype.

Can't wait to see you all there!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ReactionGrid Holiday Hours

Due to the Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, ReactionGrid would like to inform you of our upcoming holiday hours.

For the Thanksgiving Holiday, ReactionGrid will be out of office Thursday, November 27th and Friday the 28th. We will have a staff member standing by to answer your support tickets. To submit a support ticket, please go to: http://metaverseheroes.helpserve.com/

In regards to our Christmas Holiday hours, ReactionGrid will be out of office December 22nd through January 2nd. Emergency Support Tickets will be answered during these dates. We will resume normal hours on January 5th, 2015.

We wish you the happiest of holidays and urge you to stay tuned for upcoming announcements before the end of the year! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Learn how to make Player Characters for Jibe Dec 2

Over this past year as the CEO of ReactionGrid, I have been listening to our clients asks & our team has been reacting.
One of those asks was for additional avatars to use as Player Characters either as pre-made packs for easy installation or an easier way of creating models/avatars and getting them in as choices in Jibe. Through much research and rework we made some great progress on both Legacy & Humanoid rigging & animating. Now we are ready to share what we have learned with you.
ReactionGrid announces Character Packs - more details below under Player Character Packs.
And you can make your own Characters. We have a jumpstart class for you.
It's not difficult at all to make your own Characters using Fuse & Mixamo.

We can show you how!


Dec 2 at 2pm est

RSVP in comments below to reserve your seat

Expand your options & create new characters:

  • End to end construction of a model in Fuse
  • Export to Mixamo
  • Rigging & Animation in Mixamo
  • Export from Mixamo
  • Import into Unity
  • Add as a Player Character in Jibe

Player Character Packs:

Medical, Teens, Children, Additional Plain Clothed Adults

Model Rigged & Animated
Basic Animations Provided
Player Character Prefab w Scripts
Thumbnails & Preview Art

All in one Unity Package file so all you have to do is unzip, import and add to your Jibe Network Controller to have a new Player choice.

Character Packs will be available for sale on our website very soon.
Watch our blog for more info...
Hope to see you at the presentation Dec 2,
Robin Donnelly
CEO of ReactionGrid Inc

Monday, November 10, 2014

Exporting / Importing content between Second Life, Opensim and Unity

Here's a video of a presentation I recently gave on how to export/import 3d content between Second Life, Opensim and Unity.

And since ReactionGrid's multiuser web-based Jibe platform is built with Unity, you can use this technique to move content into your Jibe virtual world.  Watch for my Jibe example in the video!

For more information about the conference, please see this other post.

Take care,
-John "Pathfinder" Lester

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tips on Exporting/Importing Virtual World Content and Speaking at OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014

15433151408_16e4142328_hThe OpenSimulator Community Conference (OSCC) is an annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software. Organized as a joint production by AvaCon and the Overte Foundation, the virtual conference features two days of presentations, workshops, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.
Last year's conference was a fantastic experience, and I'm thrilled to be both attending and presenting again this year.  All the inworld venue tickets are sold out, but if you can still register for a free streaming ticket and watch all the presentations live on Ustream.
Here's what I'll be presenting this year:
"You Only Own what you can Carry: How to backup and move your content between Second Life, Openim and Unity"Saturday Nov 8 from 9:00am - 9:45am PST
In this hands-on workshop, I'll be demonstrating exactly how to export your own user-created objects (both prim and mesh based) and move them between Second LifeOpensim and Unity. Attendees will watch my desktop via a live TeamViewer screenshare and follow along on their own using freely-available software.
Requirements: Inworld attendees should be using the OSCC recommended 32-bit Singularity viewer and have pre-installed both the free version of the Unity Editor and the free TeamViewer application. No previous technical expertise required, just a willingness to learn.
The crux of my workshop will be a live demonstration of me creating something in both Opensim and Second Life and then walking through exactly how to get it into a scene in Unity.  I'll also be demoing how to move content between Second Life and Opensim.  If you're worried all this might be overly complicated, I promise it will be a lot easier than you expect.  Plus you'll have the fun and "excitement" of watching me do all this live on my own desktop (what could possibly go wrong?).  The key takeaway will be that the whole process is easy enough for anyone to learn how to do, regardless of your level of technical expertise.
If you can't watch it live, no worries.  My session will be recorded so you'll be able to watch it later.  I'll update this blog post with a link to the recording once it's online.
I'll also be a panelist later in the day on "The New Era of Content Protection in OpenSim" where I'll be sharing my thoughts about DRM versus content licensing.
Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Keynote at e-LEOT 2014 - "Augmented Mind: The Evolution of Learning Tools from Language to Immersive Reality"

The 1st International Conference on e-Learning, e-Education and Online Training is being held September 18-20 in Bethesda, Maryland.  This conference will assess a wide range of progressive ideas for the future of e-Learning, focusing on the idea of technology as a means to education rather than an end in itself.  The conference organizers have lined up a wonderful range of interdisciplinary speakers and are planning to attract a wide group of heterogeneous scholars and practitioners.
I'll be attending the entire conference, and I'm honored to be giving the opening keynote presentation.   Here's what I'll be talking about:
“Augmented Mind: The Evolution of Learning Tools
from Language to Immersive Reality”
Innovative educators are constantly facing the challenge of matching pedagogical goals with complementary technological tools.  Unfortunately, given the wide range of technologies and devices that vie for consumer attention, the right choices are not always clear and are typically obscured by media hype. In this presentation, John Lester will describe how focusing on the way the human mind interacts with the world and other human beings can help identify the right tools for the right jobs.  From a mind-augmentation perspective combining constructivist and behaviorist approaches, John will explore web based tools ideal for knowledge management, augmented reality based self-animated autonomous agents, and finally the unique (and sometimes over-hyped) affordances of perceptually immersive multiuser 3d virtual worlds for collaborative learning.
My goal will be to tell an interesting story with examples and demos of technologies that I think really leverage how our minds naturally embrace the world around us.  One such technology that I'm currently exploring and that you've probably never heard of are Wiglets.
Visit Wiggle Planet to learn a lot more about Wiglets.
Visit Wiggle Planet to learn a lot more about Wiglets.
Wiglets are autonomousevolvingself-animated and self-motivated agents that can exist in both completely virtual and augmented reality environments.  They exist at a wildly creative intersection of artificial lifeart and gaming.  And perhaps best of all, you can interact with them directly through touch and gestures.
Another topic of discussion will be the affordances of multiuser 3d virtual worlds, especially how one can reduce the barrier to entry for people interested in leveraging them for educational purposes.  ReactionGrid has recently developed some new tools that integrate with the Unity3d-based Jibe platform to provide on-the-fly content editing in a simple yet powerful way.  I'll be giving a sneak preview during my presentation.
Want to easily change this web-based 3d environment on the fly without having to muck around in Unity?
Now you can. I've got some new tricks with Jibe to show you.
I'll also be discussing and giving examples of innovative uses of commonly used virtual world technologies such as Second Life, Opensimulator and the Oculus Rift.  If you plan on attending and would like to connect with me at the conference, please drop me a line on Twitter or email.  And if you're looking to interact with the organizers and other attendees and speakers, be sure to check out the e-LEOT LinkedIn Conference Group.
After my keynote I'll be updating this blog post to include my slides and links to any recordings.
Take care,
-John "Pathfinder" Lester
Chief Learning Officer, ReactionGrid

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Connect with ReactionGrid at these Upcoming Conferences on Virtual Worlds and Experiential Learning

If you'd like to connect with someone from ReactionGrid, here's some information about two upcoming conferences:

March 22-24, 2014
Prague, Czech Republic

The main aims of this conference are to increase our understanding of experiential learning in virtual worlds, both formal and informal, to share experiences and best practices, and to debate future possibilities for learning in virtual worlds.  For full details, please see the conference website.

My panel presentation will be "Finding the Balance between Pedagogy and Technology."  Here's my abstract:
Next Generation virtual worlds will be tightly coupled to many other emerging technologies, leveraging modern knowledge management processes and providing platforms for broad use among teachers and learners.  As the technological landscape grows, it is becoming increasingly difficult for educators to identify the right platform (or mix of platforms) for their specific immersive learning needs.  
In my current position at ReactionGrid and my previous work at Linden Lab and Harvard Medical School, I have explored the use of a wide range of gaming and virtual world platforms to augment education.  Today there are a number of very interesting virtual world technological trends involving specific gaming technologies like Unity as well as the growth of Open Source platforms such as OpenSimulator.  My ongoing work involves finding the right match between educational goals and technological affordances as well as identifying key synergies when virtual world technologies are interwoven with existing social media and web-based educational content.  
Above all else, there must be a thoughtful match between pedagogy and technology.  Different virtual world platforms are suited for different uses, ranging from collaborative work environments to immersive goal-oriented simulations.  One of the most important and challenging goals for any educator exploring virtual worlds is simply finding the right tool for the right job.  Likewise, it is critical for virtual world platform developers to keep a firm focus on well established knowledge management principles when designing new technologies intended to advance the field of immersive learning.
I'm particularly thrilled about this panel because I'll be participating with Dr. Bryan Carter from the University of Arizona.  Bryan is a true pioneer in using virtual worlds for experiential learning, and he's been working with virtual environments since his dissertation project in 1997 when he created a virtual simulation of Harlem, NY as it existed during the 1920s Jazz Age and Harlem Renaissance.  Virtual Harlem was one of the earliest full virtual reality environments created for use in the humanities and certainly one of the first for use in an African American literature course.  The project continues to grow and evolve as Bryan explores new virtual world platforms.

September 18–20, 2014
Bethesda, Maryland, United States

This new conference will assess a wide range of progressive ideas for the future of e-Learning, focusing on the idea of technology as a means to education rather than an end in itself.  The conference organizers are lining up a wonderful range of interdisciplinary speakers and are planning to attract a wide group of heterogeneous scholars and practitioners.  For full details, please see the conference website.

I'll be giving a keynote at this conference.  And if you're looking to interact with the organizers and other attendees and speakers, be sure to check out the e-LEOT LinkedIn Conference Group.

If you're planning to attend either of these conferences or if you just happen to be in town when they occur, please contact me via my about.me page if you'd like to meet up and chat about virtual worlds.  

Be seeing you!

-John Lester
Chief Learning Officer