More tennis in Second Life – Australian Open

If you’ve been reading eightbar for a while, you may know that last year, some of the group put together a nice demo for Wimbledon (video available). The build was a proof-of-concept for taking a live feed of the balls from the Hawkeye system, and replaying the action in-world.

Well, the news is out on the Sydney Morning Herald site today, and Chris Yeoh mentions it too… a group from IBM has put together a really stunning build for the Australian Open. From the SMH article:

Over the duration of the two week tournament, data will be fed from games in the real Rod Laver Arena into the unreal one, nano seconds after happens.

The feed will come from game-tracking technologies such as the line-calling system HawkEye, PointTracker which plots shots and ball trajectories and Speed Serve which clocks the players’ serves.

I took a sneaky early tour of the site. There are some fantastic touches – for example, you can see rallies played out on the court, there are plenty of shops, open areas to chat, and video screens. Well done to the team involved (Pipe Hesse, Gizzy Electricteeth, and all the others) – this is really one of the best builds I’ve seen.

Click through for slightly larger screenshots, and be sure to visit once the site is open to all 🙂

BBC newsnight gets deeper into our virtual personas

Well its just a few minutes, but we have IBM, Hursley and IQ on the television with Paul Mason of newsnight.
Its available to watch here first it the article marked virtual death
****Update You can also read it here and part 2 here
The piece is aiming at delving deeper into who we are online.
There are actually more frames of my 3d print than of me, but thats not a bad thing.
So we get the real Hursley build and Yossarians virtual one on the telebox.
So from about 7mins 20 to 9mins 15 you get to see some other IBM virtual stars and lots of shots of the real fabjectory printed version of the virtual me.

Sears on IBM islands

I have been meaning to write about our IBM Sears/CES 07 build this week but I have actually had a bit of trouble finding the time to take the screen shots. However 3pointd have a great write up. Millions of us also stopped by and rebang has a great post too which has a great follow up on home cnc
The build has been getting a lot of interest and so when epredator potato is standing around outside the entrance I have found it much more useful to have some conversations with the passers by, but have not made it in to take the snapzilla shots that I could adorn this post with.
Here I only managed to get as far as the door and bumped into Ultravox Freeman who was busy for us with the team at CES 07 showing all the work and getting very worn out.
My photo shoot of all the great work turned into a CES 07 remote personal appearance on a big screen instead.
I got as far as a kitchen
The whole concept is one of discovering how to help people preview goods in their environment. We have this in a sort of different way with kitchen design firms who come to your house, measure up and render some shots for you on their laptop. This does not replace that but adds to the concept.
This was also built over the christmas holidays, as a few other things you will see soon were, by an ever growing band of people.
It has been great to see such a team rally around and dive into this the past year and the future looks great too.

Open Source Second Life client announced

I was very encouraged, back in October, to hear Jim Purbrick (AKA Babbage Linden) confirm Linden’s plans to “open source Second Life as soon as possible“, starting with the client and eventually opening up the server too. I’m excited to report that the first part has finally happened, and today Phoenix Linden announced the open source Second Life client.

This is an important step. Remember the recent technical Town Hall meeting? One lovely quote from Cory:

“As we’ve talked about, the long term goals for Second Life are to make it a more open platform. Part of that process is learning how projects like libSL can be beneficial to all of Second Life. We should be thrilled that we’ve built an interesting enough set of technologies and communities that people want to tinker and explore. In the long run, this is why we’ve talked about wanting to be able to Open Source eventually. My hope is that in 2007 we’ll be able to get there.”

Yay for Open Source. This could mark the start of a very important shift in Second Life’s development, from being a closed-source proprietary platform to something more open, taking contributions from the wider community.

libSL and The Sheep

I mentioned on my personal blog recently that I’d been looking at the capabilities of libsecondlife, and thinking about the possibilities of automating certain administrative tasks without having to fire up the full Second Life client.

It seems that the guys from the Electric Sheep Company have been doing some really interesting stuff with libsecondlife. If you’ve heard the rumours about sheepy avatars (Sheep-bots) in certain sims, it appears that they are part of their experiments with the library. As Chris Carella says:

[the Electric Sheep] software team has been playing with libsecondlife for some time now. At first it was really interesting to see what libsecondlife was uncovering about the protocol. As a full-service Metaverse company understanding how these worlds work is important to us. It has always been R&D work to us. The libsl’ers have made incredible progress and one can start to see some useful applications on the horizon.

Personally, I’m intrigued by some of the possibilities, but I’ve not done anything like as clever as the Sheep. Great stuff.

(found via the We The Sheeple aggregated feed)

New Year virtual life real life crossover

I am still technically on holiday, but as you all know this stuff is so exciting that its hard to keep away. Today I received a real life parcel with a present from Judge Hocho, one of the earliest members of eightbar in Second Life.
Judge had, a while back, created an SL t-shirt for eightbar. He has now turned that into a real one. He very kindly made one for me and one for Algernon and had them shipped over from the US.
UPDATE: Judge did the shirts on cafepress and also has some for our virtual universe community with the logo by Tood Keen. Judge is keen to point out this is a not for profit, but for fun operation. As with Darren’s from a few months ago
Now the intersting thing here is that I now have 2 pieces if clothing in real life that match my main AV look. The leather jacket I converted from my real one back to a virtual one as an early experiment, and I have now become attatched to seeing it on my avatar.
The eightbar tshirt until now only existed as a virtual one. As you can see from the picture the logo is very neat, and I will be proudly wearing this, and a huge thanks and real life rating points to Judge.
Then of course I have my 3d fabjectory print statue of myself.
This affinity we get to some of the virtual assets we have make an interesting point of discussion.
It also highlight the fact that the Second Life for many of us is a very real co-existence.
Just to add to the confusion, I got rainbow six vegas for the xbox 360 for chrimbo. It was a hoot trying to explain to my dad, who was visiting, why exactly I was plugging something that looked like a camera in, and why my 38 weeks pregnant wife was trying to get a decent profile shot of me with it. Luckily the laughing and initial comedy results did not cause a dash to maternity (though any day now).
So I have ended up with less hair, and looking slightly youger if that makes sense, but I am face mapped should any one happen upon the xbox live epredator in Rainbow Six Vegas.