Archive for the ‘technology’ Category
I have recently learned about a small non-profit that is working to deliver ICT support to rural educators in Nepal.
That’s right, Information & Communication Technology in the villages and classrooms of the Himalayas.
- is self-powered (solar-rechargeable batter)
- is operated with a wireless “wand”
- has a built-in audio system
- comes loaded with CC-Licensed content (games, videos, songs, etc.)
The device projects the “desktop” onto a wall and comes with a hand-held mouse (the “wand”) to navigate. The prototype has been field tested and now they are looking for volunteers to help search for—and evaluate—content that can be loaded into the drive. (Most classrooms in rural Nepal have no electricity, much less an Internet connection.)
I would write a bit more; but, I am up to my elbows producing some educational content…gotta go. Holler at “azwaldo” at gmail dot com, anytime.
Given how much time I spend building and scripting in virtual worlds, I also spend a considerable amount thinking ’bout where this technology is going. I do not intend to indulge that obscure topic here, today. Instead, I want to mention the finely wrought underpinnings—the granularity, if you will—of what lies behind and beneath this virtual platform which has become a thoroughly engaging activity, by way of announcing a new project.
What is a virtual world? Ultimately it exists as the particular electromagnetic configuration assigned to a few gadjillion magnetic grains arranged in the surface material coating a small space of a magnetic drive.
Precisely arranged magnetic grains define the distinct magnetic regions in the surface materials of hard disks. The grains separate one magnetic zone from the others.
(Click image to open Wikipedia entry for Hard Disk Drive)
TransitionNeel image courtesy of Wikipedia
Whatever surface area on a hard disk drive platter that is needed to store what I have sketched with my “build tools”, whatever incredibly large number of magnetic grains it takes to store the binary code for the (up to) 15,000 prims, scripts, sounds and assorted textures that will make up the new virtual world region that I will “buy” today for Zero Lindens (talk about virtual); not to mention the larger patch of cobalt-based hard disk drive alloy needed to house the simulator, the incredible software engine served up and driven by design; whatever puny patch of ‘puter platter percolates with my particular predilections for prims; that can all soon be linked and located, fetched and transmitted, parsed, interpreted and rendered finally as a newly crafted, interactive, educationally motivated virtual space, one by which other netizens and reZidents might also be engaged.
In short, I am told that the “purchase” of an entire SecondLife™ region will occur today. This new project will reside in a full “sim” (or simulator); it will occupy an entire server. It seems appropriate, then, to give this project its own page in this blog…yep, there it is in the NavBar: “The Virtual Cell”.
I have been logging time for over half of a century. Hard disk drive technology is older than me. Still, considering what we are already doing this technology, imagining might come next takes a lot of my magnetic grains, too.
As an undergraduate student I learned that things stick in my mind if I just write them out. Let’s see if that happens this time.
Yesterday, while chatting with a new acquaintance, I found myself shading the truth once again; not quite lying, just not letting the whole light shine…so to speak. Using words like ‘graphics’ and ‘animation’, alluding to interactive design and educational content, I danced around my deep interest in virtual worlds. I reckon I’ve heard the oh!-you-play-video-games sort of response too often.
That should stop, here and now.
Anyone familiar enough with virtual worlds knows how the interface and technology seem to augment our reality. My social interaction, perspective, my imagination and creativity; all of these have evolved along with my experience in virtual reality. But, there is much more to it…
If you are a SecondLife™ user, just have a look at this video (~ 2½ min.) and tell me if you do not find something familiar.
How will shaping and animating digital objects inform our walk through the physical world? Just sign up, and follow your imagination.
Our host in this next video (~3½ min.) asks…
How do I get this information, which is 2-D…into the operating theater?
Hang on ’til—or jump to—around 2:20 in the video to see reality augmented, and tell me he is not showing us a truly virtual world…