Tag: virtual worlds

Virtual Home Camp


As one of the organisers of Home Camp, I dropped in to see how Virtual Home Camp is shaping up. There are already some really interesting toys and gadgets in there – had a brief chat about how to feed weather data in, looked at the virtual version of Chris’ ducks, and was generally really impressed to see the progress that has been made. Thanks to the folks from ReactionGrid for hosting us. If you can’t come to the real event on April 25th in London, I think this could be a great way of participating.

Hail to the tribal chieftan

I’ve written more about this on my internal company weblog, but suffice it to say that I’ve blogged externally about my ongoing involvement with virtual worlds etc. and I’ve mentioned my minor Internet celebrity friend Mr Hughes on many occasions. I’m not going to go as far as to call him my Yoda, but he’s been a massive influence on me for the past few years.

Fare ye well.

Virtual Worlds & IBM Unified Communications

A week ago I was giving a client presentation in Hursley about Social Software and Virtual Worlds.

One of the questions I was asked was “do you see a time when virtual worlds might be integrated with Sametime?”

One answer I gave was that this had been demonstrated at a couple of conferences.

I certainly don’t have any information about what might happen in the future, but this video shows another example (hint – you can watch this in HD quality on YouTube if you want a better picture quality)

Message Brokers and Forbidden Cities

I’ve been reading a lot about the Beyond Space and Time project, which is bringing Beijing’s famous Forbidden City to life. As an eightbar person I’ve been aware of the project for quite some time, but I have to admit that I’ve not really done too much digging into the underlying technology.

According to the reports, the project has been built using the Torque engine, with WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Message Broker on the backend, with dynamic provisioning of servers. This is awesome stuff. I frequently refer to Message Broker as “my pet product”, since it’s the product I’ve specialised in for the past 8 years of my professional life. I’m going to probe further into exactly how the middleware stack is being utilised.

As we’ve been evangelising virtual worlds within IBM (I’m not a full-time Metaverse Evangelist, but Ian and, in the past, Roo have frequently been kind enough to put me forward as a speaker on the topic when they’ve been unavailable), the question has arisen as to “why we’re even bothering with all this game stuff”. Well, as someone whose day job has been in enterprise middleware and transactional systems for the past several years, I’ve always seen some of the key connections here. The 3D Internet environment needs to be supported by a multitude of technologies, and enterprises with well-defined Service Oriented Architectures are well placed to have their systems connected to the next-generation environments. If they are going to be successful, Virtual Worlds need hardware to run on, they need some of the enterprise-quality levels of availability, security and service that we’ve become accustomed to in business, and they need to be able to connect up to existing systems. A product like WebSphere Message Broker is ideal for helping to enable this, as it essentially provides the ability to connect to any “legacy” backend and mediate requests on behalf of the avatar needing the data.

So, check out Beyond Space and Time, enjoy it, and you’ll probably forget all about the middleware that enables it to run – which is exactly how it should be. The whole project really does bear out some of the stuff that we’ve been discussing over on eightbar for the past couple of years, and I’m completely thrilled to see it launch.

The Hursley blogging network

It is interesting that I’m usually identified as “an IBM Hursley person”, but officially I’m actually not – I’m a mobile worker with an office maildrop in London. It is true that I’m in Hursley as often as possible… largely because I love the location, a lot of my good friends are based there, and the products that I support are developed there.

I thought I’d mention a few of the blogs that we have going now:

  • eightbar – what is now generally known as a virtual worlds blog began as a blog about the cool “other stuff” that happens in and around IBM Hursley. Actually that’s how I first got involved with eightbar (or should that be, “the award winning eightbar”?)
  • Hursley on WMQ / IBMers on Messaging – various IBMers writing about IBM’s messaging products (this recently moved onto developerworks)
  • Testing Blues – a group of testers from Hursley discussing issues around software testing.
  • The Master Terminal – a CICS blog that I only discovered the other day!

Those are just the group blogs – there are a bunch of talented folks who work around Hursley with their own blogs too, of course (and sometimes I seem to be counted as one of them).