Vivaty Scenes : a personal virtual 3D web community

Vivaty

Vivaty, a company in the San Francisco area, has developed during the last two years a platform designed for rich web content and 3D experiences called “Vivaty Scenes“. The application was launched as a public beta on tuesday 8th July 2008 in AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) and in Facebook. Vivaty Scenes are realistic rooms that act as a virtual personal environment, a 3D version of your personal page. You can set the theme, decorate with furniture and other virtual goods, and chat with the avatars of friends who enter your room. You can bring in photos from Flickr and Facebook or videos from YouTube and display them on screens in your room. You can also play MP3 songs.

Vivaty Scenes is a platform which plugs straight and seamlessly into your already setup, defined and working social network. The program (a 4 MB player browser plug-in) currently only runs on Windows machines and in Internet Explorer, although Firefox and Mac versions of Vivaty Scenes are planned for release at a later date. 2 GB computer memory and 256 MB VRAM graphic card memory are recommended for using Vivaty Scenes.

Avatars

The avatar associated with one user can be changed at any time, a richer avatar customization will be available in the future. Avatars can be moved with the mouse or with the directional keys. The viewpoint (camera position) can be changed with a mouse right click and drag & drop, with the mouse wheel you can pan in and out. Avatars can be animated with gestures and express their moods in idle animations (sad, angry, happy, …).

3D objects

Scenes can be modified and customized at anytime, items can be changed and added. By double clicking on a media object (photo, photo gallery, video) the camera zooms in close but your avatar stays put. Some features of Vivaty Scenes are similar to Adobe Atmosphere discontinued on 19th december 2004.

Active Worlds

ActiveWorlds

Activeworlds Inc., headquartered in Newburyport, Massachusetts, provides software products and online services that permit users to enter, move about and interact with others in a computer generated, 3D virtual environment using the Internet. A 3D virtual environment enables users to move in three dimensions and  to create objects and structures which other users can see and move in real time.

The “Active Worlds Browser” runs on Windows and Linux. Active Worlds has two ways of entering its universe: as a free tourist or as a paid citizen. Tourist mode is Active Worlds’ version of a free account with several limitations. You can pay for a citizen for the price of $6.95/month or $69.95/year.

On June 28, 1995 AlphaWorld was renamed Active Worlds and officially launched as version 1.0. On June 16, 2008, Activeworlds, Inc. released the first major update to the browser in two years, version 4.2. The update was considered smooth and painless, being completed in a matter of only fifteen minutes, compared to the several days of version 4.1’s initial upgrade in 2006. Version 4.2 includes an enhanced graphics engine, captured web pages on objects, and, most notably, customizable avatars on a scale more complex than that of Second Life.

In 2008, Alphaworld is 429,025 km2 large, has more than 360.000 paid citizens, more than 200 million objects, more than 100 shops selling a wide variety of products and more than 1000 unique worlds to explore

i-dog, i-cat, i-cy, i-fish : Robotic Music Loving Pet’s

Sega Cat

Sega Dog

Sega Pinguin

In 2005, SEGA Toys introduced a small robot dog called i-dog in Japan which played about 70 stored children’s songs and other favorites. A sensor on top of the dog was used to control the tempo of the song playback. The i-dog was also able to mimic the owners voice with sound that had similar wavelengths. The i-dog was licensed to Tiger Electronics, a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc for distribution in the United States. Today, a complete series of robotic music loving pet’s is available in different colors and looks. i-pet’s can wear clothing and they react to music from an external source, such as an MP3 player. They feature seven flashing LED lights on its face and have the ability to ‘dance’ to the beat of the music. They also have a number of switches to react to user input. They have various emotions (which change based on user interaction) that provide different color patterns on its LED lights.

I-CAT, the musical feline is fond of rock, punk, rap, hip-hop, dance, techno and more! I-DOG entertains you with electronic lights, movements and sounds based on the music you play.  I-CY, the performing penguin, loves to dive into music and flap its flippers to your tunes. You make him happy with lots of music and interaction! I-CY communicates moods through musical riffs, movement and tons of blinking light patterns! It even squawks to let you know when it needs more attention! I-FISH dances by swishing it’s tail and spinning around.

To switch the I-DOG off, press the nose button more than 5 seconds.

McDonald iDog

In 2007, a basic version of the i-dog was manufactured for the McDonald’s corporation, with reduced functionality, different styling and without speaker or movement. The toy has a switch on its underside that turns it on, subsequent pressing of the nose button causes the lights in the head to flash varying colours.

Virtual iDog

The latest creation, I-DOG AMP (Automated Music Personality), is aivalable in four colors.  Plug it into your music player and get stereo sound – louder than before – when he plays your music through his built-in speaker! Control the volume with his tail and rock out! And with cooler moves than ever before, this doggone-good dancer taps his paw to the beat, bobs his head, wags his tail and gets his ears movin’ and groovin’!

A virtual I-DOG (digital representation of the new I-DOG AMP’D) can be downloaded from the Tiger Electronics website for MAC’s and PC’s. Virtual I-DOG dances in synch to the MP3 music files stored on your computer. Browse for a song using Virtual I-DOG’s interface and play a tune to watch him groove.

Blink 3D : a multi-user Web based 3D virtual worlds platform

Blink 3D

Blink 3D®, a platform for creating multi-user Web based virtual worlds and 3D environments has been developped by Pelican Crossing. Blink 3D can be used for: Virtual Worlds, Games, Education, Virtual Heritage, Business, Online Stores, Machinima, Product Marketing and 3D chat.

Blink 3D is available in different editions including a free Ultra Lite edition. Blink 3D’s drag and drop, point and click interface makes it is easy to learn and you don’t have to program if you don’t want to. You can use 3D primitives to quickly build your world or you can import your models from a wide range of modeling products. If you are a programmer Blink 3D has the most extensive API available on the market today.

Version 2.0 of Blink 3D was released on June 27th, 2008.

Pelican Crossing was founded in 2001 by Clive Jackson. The companies initial focus was add-on products for Adobe Atmosphere. However with the demise of Atmosphere in Dec 2004, Pelican Crossing stepped into the resulting void with Blink 3D.

IMVU : the leading global 3D community

IMVU

Founded in 2004 and based in Palo Alto, California, USA, IMVU Inc., is an online destination where young adults meet new people in 3D. In public beta, the company has already reached major milestones including 20 million registered users, 100.000 registered developers, and $1 million in revenue each month. Members of IMVU have fun meeting new people with similar interests and expressing themselves through personalized 3D avatars, themed rooms, one-to-one chats, and the creation of new and unique virtual products. With over 1.5 million user-generated virtual items, IMVU offers the world’s largest catalog of virtual goods. Revenue is derived from the direct sale of virtual credits, which are used to purchase virtual products such as room decorations, clothing items and hairstyles.

Nabaztag “Aenderhues”

Nabaztag André

Aujourd’hui mon Nabaztag “Ouschterhues” a accueilli un frère, le Nabaztag “Aenderhues”.

Signé par André, c’est  le premier love graffiti communicant, édité en série limitée. Célèbre pour son Mr. A, l’artiste André, né en Suède en 1971, dessine dès son plus jeune âge sur les murs de sa maison ou de son école. Arrivé à Paris, en 1981, la rue est devenue son atelier. André, armé de ses bombes de peintures dessine sur les murs des villes son icône fétiche, Monsieur A. Avec son grand chapeau, ses longues jambes, son regard en croix, son sourire à pleines dents, l’arrogant Mr A exporte de New York à Hong-Kong en passant par Londres, Berlin et Tokyo, son message d’amour et ses Love Graffitis. En 2005, il a signé une série limitée de téléphones portables Mitsubishi.

série limitée

Monsieur André est aujourd’hui gérant de boites-de-nuits très chics de Paris (Le Baron, Le Paris-Paris, L’Hotel Amour, La Johnsson etc…)  et il a créé un shop à Paris, au Palais de Tokyo, appelé BlackBlock. Ces lieux et tout ce qui ce fait de plus cool à Paris sont regroupés dans l’association La Clique.

Virtual World of Kaneva

Kaneva

The Virtual World of Kaneva is an Internet-based virtual world first released in beta form in mid 2006. It competes with Second Life, IMVU, There, Active Worlds, and the erotic-oriented Red Light Center. It is developed by Atlanta-based startup Kaneva, using the Kaneva Game Platform. Unlike the more generalized Second Life or the more communication-based IMVU, the Virtual World of Kaneva focuses primarily on virtual shopping and entertainment. In 2008, Kaneva added the ability to view videos both on web profiles and inside 3D televisions in-world. According to its own statistics, the Virtual World of Kaneva possesses over 800.000 members and over 10.000 communities.

Nabaztag “Ouschterhues”

Aujourd’hui j’ai reçu mon Nabaztag (signifie lièvre en arménien), un lapin communiquant connecté à Internet par ondes Wi-Fi (802.11b). Créé par Rafi Haladjian et Olivier Mével en 2005, il est produit par la societé française Violet. Il communique avec son utilisateur en émettant des messages vocaux, lumineux ou en remuant les oreilles.

Un opéra composé par Antoine Schmitt et Jean-Jacques Birgé, sur une initiative originale de Guylaine Monnier, a été interprété par 100 lapins Nabaztag au Centre Pompidou le 27 mai 2006 et au Wired NextFest à New York en septembre 2006. Une nouvelle représentation a eu lieu au Cube Festival à l’Auditorium d’Issy-les-Moulineaux le 5 juin 2008. Un prochain spectacle est prévu en octobre 2008.

Nabaztag Opera

La version 2 (Nabaztag/tag) lancée en décembre 2006 est également capable de reconnaître des tags RFID et elle dispose d’un microphone (nombril électronique) permettant de faire de la reconnaissance vocale. Le site officiel est www.nabaztag.com. La boutique en ligne (Zstore) pour commander un Nabaztag est store.nabaztag.com.

La société Violet exploite un serveur offrant de nombreux services aux lapins connectés. Suite à un test beta réalisé fin 2007, le serveur HTTP a été remplacé par un serveur Jabber en mars 2008 qui offre une meilleure réactivité et une performance plus élevée.

Sur son site d’entreprise, Violet informe les usagers en temps réel sur le statut des services du serveur (OS), sur l’évolution des versions et sur les problèmes connus.

Après avoir créé un profil pour son lapin dans le terroir, on peut envoyer des messages et choréographies à son lapin ou aux lapins de ses amis. Sur Nablife, on trouve l’annuaire des services du Nabaztag. Un service intéressant constitue la possibilité d’écouter des streams audio mp3 en ligne (radios du web, podcasts, flux RSS, …). On peut même créer son propre Nabcast. Un autre service innovatif est la lecture de livres détectés grâce aux Stamp’s (étiquettes RFID). Plusieurs livres des éditions Gallimard Jeunesse sont proposés.

Dans l’annuaire des propriétaires de lapins sur le site my.nabaztag.com, on trouve en juin 2008 une cinquantaine de lapins luxembourgeois, par exemple Hiesschen, carot, Ninonet, Puki, eksyt, Malika, nabbelchen, nengi, casanovalux, Nablapinlulu, luzzi, itchi, jitz, Herchy, huesi68, Nababoozer, Nabatschicca, Lizzyhues.

Le serveur jabber Nabaztag offre une API (application programming interface)  pour envoyer des commandes aux lapins à partir d’une application ou de son propre site web. Une commande a la forme

http://api.nabaztag.com/vl/FR/api.jsp? sn=00039D4022DE&token=112231049046144&posleft=0 &posright=0&idmessage=10333&idapp=10

Plusieurs développeurs ont réalisé des interfaces en flash, javascript, php ou java pour transmettre des commandes aux lapins via cet API. Quelques liens sont indiqués ci-après:

  • NabzFood : premier site fournisseur de nourriture virtuelle pour Nabaztag
  • Nabaztag3D : application développée en language SCOL
  • nabZone : sur le web, on parle de l’API du Nabaztag (menu liens)
  • Nabaztools : unofficial tools to hack the Nabaztag rabbit

Il y a même un programme B-Ztag pour interagir avec son Nabtag moyennant son smartphone BlackBerry.

Les fans du Nabaztag proposent également des accessoires pour personaliser son lapin:

  • Fashionabz : la mode c’est aussi pour les lapins !

Il y a différentes communautés du Nabaztag qui gèrent des forums pour les amateurs des lapins. Le forum le plus actif dédié au Nabaztag/tag est opéré par la “communauté joyeuse des adorateurs du lapin qui parle”. Un forum en anglais est Nabaztalk, un autre forum Nabaztag français est sur le site “Toute la domotique”.

Il y a eu trois projets open source pour créer un framework respectivement un proxy permettant de s’intercaler entre le Nabaztag et le serveur de Violet, afin de transmettre des commandes directes aux lapins. Tous les trois étaient basés sur l’ancien protocole HTTP de Violet et ne fonctionnent plus avec le serveur Jabber, sauf en mode standalone si on dispose encore de l’ancien bootcode HTTP.

  1. Nabazlab : éditeur de choréographies et assembleur
  2. OpenNab : framework en php, version 0.09 du 2.11.2007
  3. jNabServer : java framework de l’université de Tampere (version 1.01); une nouvelle version (v.2) a été publiée le 9 décembre 2008.

Un projet NabBot pour transformer le lapin Nabaztag en chatbot, basé sur OpenNab, a été développé par “Human Enemy”.

Un nouveau projet open source basé sur le nouveau protocole jabber, OpenJabNab, a été lancé en janvier 2008 par Thomas Soete. Un projet de fin d’étude ayant comme objectif le développement d’un proxy XMPP a  été réalisé à l’Institut Télécom de Paris fin 2008 début 2009 par les étudiants Clément Beausset et Pierre Soumoy sous la direction de Sébastien Leriche.

Open Science Project : Jmol

JMOL

The OpenScience project is dedicated to writing and releasing free and Open Source scientific software. The OpenScience project is managed by a group of scientists, mathematicians and engineers who want to encourage a collaborative environment in which science can be pursued by anyone who is inspired to discover something new about the natural world.

Among the six interrelated projects pursued is Jmol, an Open Source Java/Swing based molecular dynamics viewer.

caffeine screenshot

There.com : 3D online virtual world

there.com

 

There.com is an online getaway where you can hang out with your friends and meet new ones, all in a lush 3D environment that’s yours to explore and help build. The 3D online virtual world “There” was created by Will Harvey and Jeffrey Ventrella. There Inc. was founded in the spring of 1998. Closed beta began in July of 2001, with various stages of beta following, and ending with an October 2003 launch date. “There.com” went live in 2003 as the first virtual world. It was such a new concept in 1997 that it took a lot of time to build the new 3D technology. In 2004. There changed its name to Forterra to reflect its expanding focus on virtual world technologies for consumer, business and government services.

In April 2005, Makena Technologies, founded by Entrepreneur Michael Wilson, acquired the exclusive license of “There” and the management of the There community from Forterra Systems. Makena Technologies, Inc., a privately held corporation, is headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA. Today, the business model is based on membership fees, on virtual currency for e-commerce and on advertising.

On April 3, 2008, Paramount Pictures announced that  their film vault is opening up in the virtual world “There.com”.