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VWN Resource Database: New Business
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Resource Database > New Business
Virtual and Augmented realities are converging, bringing brand new business practices and ways of earning. Money made from possessions in the virtual, trade in characters and landscapes. The virtual nations are starting to form, and business within them is booming.

Back in the physical world, virtual and augmented reality tech is changing the business landscape, and changing it fast. Learn how to keep up, how to ride the bleeding wave to bring maximum returns to your organisation, to really take advantage of the technological explosion - not just simply survive.

Different ways of working, whole new paradigms. The choice seems simple: Adapt or submerge.

Why not adapt and soar?


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Telecommuting (11)

Locally Hosted resource
AbGradCon 2009: Another attempt at Mixed Reality Conferencing
A mixed reality conference - split between a physical location and a single virtual world, occurred between the 17th and 18th of July 2009, when early-career astrobiologists met at the University of Washington in Seattle for the 6th annual Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference, colloquially known as AbGradCon.

Locally Hosted resource
ACME - Augmented Virtuality or Virtual Augmented Reality?
The ACME project, perhaps unfortunately named similar to the cartoon company that produces zany inventions, is actually a collaboration between the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, IBM Research and Nokia Research. It is a serious attempt at bringing disparate technologies together to form something we have all desired for a long while - an interoperable environment in which physical and virtual mix (almost) seamlessly.


AWDebate is a dedicated-purpose VR conferencing suite, the best the ActiveWorlds platform could create, sitting on enough land for a truly impressive conferencing and exhibition centre.


Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: A MICA Conference in 2009
The image is of a MICA conference, held in mid 2009, in the VR environment Second Life. It clearly shows the problem with such organisations in worlds such as SL. The sparce scattering of avatars represents less than a quarter of MICA's membership at the time. It also represents al lthe avatars the sim environment could support.

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: University of Washington: Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference 2009 - image 1
The above image from a mixed reality conference ? split between a physical location and a single virtual world ? illustrates yet again the problem with packing a large number of avatars into a single, small virtual space, under current technological approaches.

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Large Image Display: University of Washington: Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference 2009 - image 2
A large image from the mixed reality conference ? split between a physical location and a single virtual world ? which occurred between the 17th and 18th of July 2009 at the University of Washington in Seattle, showing how the virtual and physical locations were seamlessly interlinked.

Locally Hosted resource
Sametime 3D
IBM has unveiled a new spin on collaborative virtual environments. Sametime 3D isn't a stand alone VR, but rather, is part of a general business software suite, and is intended as a convenient way to collaborate on business projects.

Locally Hosted resource
The Infinite Office
Offices are key to commercial success. If you don't present a professional appearance, and, more importantly, don't have space for all your workers, you cannot function as an efficient organisation. That can be costly, at least if you think physical property. It doesn't have to be that way, and the rewards can be staggering.

Locally Hosted resource
Virtual Environment business meetings a reality - commonplace by 2010
A short, previous news snippet, from 24/09/2003, looking at the increasing uptake in VR used for high-level business meetings. A progressive trend indeed.

Locally Hosted resource
VR and Conferences: The Difficult Partnership
Using virtual environments to hold business conferences, sales meetings and hearings seems like a perfect fit: no traveling is involved, the gallery can support any number of individuals required, and any and all physical disabilities or hang ups can be left outside the door.

Locally Hosted resource
White House Deputy CTO Holds Dual Reality Event
Details of the first official US Government conference to address avatars in a virtual reality on an equal footing to physically present guests.



Virtual Display (8)

Locally Hosted resource
CAVE VR to open at University of Louisiana
Industry News

Industry news, originally posted 29-07-2004, deemed too important to allow to fade. A CAVE back-projected totally surround VR room, is to open at University of Louisiana, Lafayette, USA before the end of this year. The heavy-duty research VR system is to be used to draw in researchers and engineers from many local firms, allowing them to visualise in true surround 3D projects that are impossible on paper - charting the course of now-extinct rivers, where to look for oil...

Locally Hosted resource
Changing the Streets through Virtual Reality
Industry News

Before this month, the most helpful data computational models of traffic flow could produce, consisted of a two dimensional view of the roads with little green and red dots indicating vehicles in motion under different conditions. Very computational, and very accurate, but this sort of output is not very easy for the layperson to understand.

Locally Hosted resource
Governmental Visualisation > VERDE
The VERDE or Visualising Energy Resources Dynamically on Earth project, was set-up by the American Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2008. Its purpose is to use mixed reality systems, to monitor real-time status of a national power grid.

Locally Hosted resource
Horseracing the Augmented Way
Traditionally in horse-racing, there is a person, called the chartcaller who watches all races through binoculars, and announces the positions of the horses at each point of call into a tape recorder. This human method of tracking produces rather a large margin for error - surely AR can do better?


The Museo Archeologico Virtuale as it is written in Italian, or the Virtual Museum of Archaeology as it is written in English, is the first of its kind in the world. All the exhibits are virtual, interactive, and within a physical building.


Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Minimal Information
It is well known that ActiveWorlds as a company, have never really gotten a firm grasp on good marketing strategies in the decade plus they have been in existence. Still, as this room is set-up along with a dozen others as the first things newcomers to the platform get to explore, there is an immediate and glaring problem, showcased by the avatar in this picture.

Locally Hosted resource
Tesco Trialling AR Stores for Holidaymakers
British supermarket giant Tesco is trialling a new form of augmented reality shopping, with kiosks located in major airports, to encourage those coming back from holiday to browse a wide selection of goods, and order groceries to be delivered when they reach home.

Locally Hosted resource
Walk-through screen displays a reality
A previous news snippet from 11/09/2003, looking at the Heliodisplay, a device for projecting Star-Wars like holograms into mid-air.



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VR Systems (6)

From CAVEs to Flogistron chairs, C1s to Immersadesks. These are the systems which bring your world to life.
Locally Hosted resource
Analyst Interview of Nentendo 2007 by Chairman/CEO Iwata
Nentendo's corporate investor relations have published a financial results briefing for the 67th fiscal term of the company, ending March 2007. In it, they stage a 27 question and answer session with Nintendop CEO Mr. Iwata.

This is, we believe, the first serious attempt at a book intended to beat business executives over the head with the power that games possess. It derives directly from the serious games movement, and is trying to showcase to business leaders how gaming, and VR usage in employees can actually help the bottom line.



Linked resource
Store tech checks customers out
As lifestyles get busier, supermarkets are turning to all kinds of technologies to streamline food shopping.

Linked resource
Use of Video Game Technology in the Workplace Increasing
An Entertainment Software Association announcement from June 2008, on the growing trends for simulation technologies in commerce and industry.

This book, by author and renowned VR expert Howard Rhinegold, was first published in 1991 ? nearly twenty years ago. All those years back, Rhinegold still managed to predict VR applications that are only just being realised today. Walking through computer mediated environments, with the power of physical legs; having targeted muscle re-enervation provide the neural connectivity of physical legs if you have none. Doctors treating patients remotely, or operating on precise mock-ups of patients before they lay eyes on them for the first time. Touring buildings, rendered in 3D, from blueprints alone.



Locally Hosted resource
VR Environments in the Workplace: The Cubicle worker
A dreamscapes narrative, about the near future of business for cubicle workers, using a story to bring across the human point of view rather than that of the technology.



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Virtual Property (6)

Locally Hosted resource
Another Reality Check
This short article takes a realistic look at how the people who sell user-created content within a virtual world may not be the doom-bringers of online world development if they are allowed by lay to continue such distribution, and how they may well be the harbringers of increased enjoyment and profitability. Read it.

Locally Hosted resource
Are Virtual Assets Taxable?
Industry News

A key question, and very very valid as more and more focus shifts to VR based items, and ever-larger sums of money change hands for them. Are your non-corporeal assets actually taxable?

Julian Dibbell, freelance writer, and author of ?A Tiny Life? and other works chronicling the massive, disruptive impact of virtual lives on both the physical and the virtual. He tried a little experiment: was it possible to make more money from his forays into the virtual, buying and selling virtual items, than he makes as a successful writer?



Linked resource
Render Unto Caesar
Virtual worlds have shown themselves to have very real, and fairly powerful market forces when it comes to items from within them being traded openly on the internet. Time to stop arguing about the value of virtual, and start worrying about the reality of the virtual?

Locally Hosted resource
Sony opens Virtual Goods Marketplace
Industry News

Industry news, originally posted 22-04-2005. Massively Multiplayer Online world operator Sony Entertainment appears to have reversed its position regarding the buying and selling of virtual items.

Locally Hosted resource
The Infinite Office
Offices are key to commercial success. If you don't present a professional appearance, and, more importantly, don't have space for all your workers, you cannot function as an efficient organisation. That can be costly, at least if you think physical property. It doesn't have to be that way, and the rewards can be staggering.



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Virtual Form (2)

A virtual form, a body entirely virtual, yet controlled directly by the brain, bypassing the physical form entirely, does open up a great many possibilities indeed.
Locally Hosted resource
A Fourth Economy
In less than 20 years, the service economy is being replaced with a new model, the 'Experience Economy', a model in which, whilst there is still a place for services, they are not the main act of the economy. Instead, what is is the provision of experiences, memes, sensory indulgances, and a deeply personal and individual type of service.

Locally Hosted resource
Book Quotes: Sensory Links
The concept of sensory links is an interesting one. A sensory link in this case is defined as full sensory immersion via computer mediation. It?s a virtual reality of a specific sort. Later in the same book, the concept is expounded a little more, and is interesting, not altogether improbable.



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Locationless Business (16)

Locally Hosted resource
Architecture's virtual shake-up 2: Physical Buildings, designed Virtually
Industry News

With the accelerating tech curve, and building skills becoming ever more refined for virtual environments as the tech advances, at some point it was obvious that builders in virtual worlds would become architects in the physical one.

Locally Hosted resource
Augmented Conferencing
A recent news story covered BT's attempts to wire up the conference room of the future. However, BT's spokesperson, Lesley Gavin, seemed less than clued up on use of the virtual technologies that would likely be employed. We would like to suggest our own version for how we think the conference event of the medium-term future will be held. Twenty years from now.

Locally Hosted resource
Business in VR: Interfacing a Sales Database with a World
A tutorial for those looking to set up business integration with a third party virtual environment, and avoid the common major pitfalls in linking their transaction database for in-world product orders.

Linked resource
Conference Wrap-Up - Virtual Worlds 2007
Virtual Worlds 2007 was the first VR conference devoted to understanding the future of virtual reality for big business, as well as futurists and specialists. This four page gamasutra feature conducts a postmortem on the conference,

Linked resource
Escaping TO the Matrix
This article, whilst falling into the common mistake of the non-technical press that SL was the first ever virtual world, still manages to impress the dangers virtual economies are facing, as the profits from within them soar, and various governments start to sniff around.

Linked resource
Five Rules For Bringing Your First-Life Business Into Second Life
If you are thinking about establishing yourself in Second Life ? or any virtual environment ? Information Week offer five rules that should help your new venture be a success.

Locally Hosted resource
General Laws of Business in Social VR
Ten laws we at VWN strongly recommend following if you plan on creating a business of any form within modern VR. We cannot guarantee you success if you follow them, but we can guarantee failure if you do not.

Linked resource
If relationships can happen in VR, as if in-person, why not experiment to overcome business challenges?
This detailed, questioning article, put forth by businessgyan, focuses on SL in particular. However, the concepts expounded upon, apply to radically increasing business success in almost any advanced VR.

Linked resource
Inside The Digital Toy Factory - Developing To Deadlines
Denki calls itself a "digital toy factory," not a game developer. In this in-depth post, co-founder Colin Anderson discusses the studio's thoughts on process, including the importance of change, the scientific method, and influences from the old Hollywood studio system as well as theatre.

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: Animatrix: World Record: The Crowds We Require
The Animatrix short film is set inside the virtual reality world that is the Matrix, inside an Olympic stadium, with a crowd of tens of thousands of avatars and AIs watching. This is glorious fiction at this point in time, and serves as a reminder of just how far we have yet to travel, for serious collaborative uses of VR. Only when scenes such as the one pictured above are replicable in terms of avatar participation density, will we truly see the business and social potential for VR, realized.

Linked resource
Parks Associates' Michael Cai: Business Gets Done in Virtual Worlds
Businesses are beginning to discover and experiment with virtual worlds. Many, particularly large, technology companies, are already realizing benefits, such as the ability to meet with employees scattered across the globe, says Parks Associates' Michael Cai.

Spoken dialog systems allow people to get information, conduct business, and be entertained, simply by speaking to a computer. There are hundreds of these systems currently in use, handling millions of interactions every day. How do they work? What problems do they solve? The goal of this book is to answer these questions and others like them.




The age of cheap, home fabrication and rapid prototyping without any requirement for dedicated facilities, may finally be dawning upon us. A cheap, self-assembly unit, costing little more than a new PC, was developed at the very start of 2007. Here, we chart its progress, and see if the revolution is truly revolutionary.


Locally Hosted resource
Shopping in VR: It was built, and they never came
Consumer shopping in persistent, online virtual reality was supposed to be a big thing of the future. In the 1990s large scale online shopping malls were constructed, awaiting thousands of visitors, unrestricted by physical location to come flocking in. We are still waiting.

Linked resource
Technology, Media and Telecoms: A virtual reality
Written from a layperson's standpoint, this summarising article takes a good overview of the changes to traditional business models of all kinds, offered by virtual environments.

Ray Kurzweil is a formidable force in VR and AI. Hell, he is a formidable force anywhere he has turned his attention. He has a knack for predicting the future, and so far so far not a single one of his predictions has ever been wrong. This book is his theory on Accelerating Intelligence made flesh and a warning for the monumental acceleration of technological change in the years to come.





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Resisting (3)

Locally Hosted resource
Book Quotes: Flatland
No matter how concrete the data that 3D working environments and immersive, intuitive interfaces boost productivity and workflow significantly above that evidenced by window, icon and pointer monitor screen and keyboard setups, government agencies and the beaurocratic chain are unlikely to ever take them up.

In Growing Up Digital, Don Tapscott revealed how the digital world created a generation that thought, played, and related to their world in a way radically different from that of their parents. In a fascinating follow-up to his seminal work, Grown Up Digital revisits the Net Generation as the eldest of its members turns 30, enters the workforce and marketplace, and establishes their roles as life-long learners and contributors to society.



Locally Hosted resource
'Simulations' and 'Games', Why the Difference?
The 'modelling and Simulation' community, has always distanced itself from the 'gaming' community, the two moving into separate camps, and neither touching the work of the other.



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3D Fabrication (4)

As we enter the realm of cheap 3D printing, the general business model is forced to change. When a new organ can be knitted together by a glorified inkjet, and a product prototype produced in full glory at home for less cost than a production line model in a factory, then ways of doing business change drastically.
Locally Hosted resource
Home 3D Printing: The movement Starts
Back in January 2007, we took our first look at the fab@home printer: A creation of Hod Lipson and Evan Malone from Carnegie Mellon University in the US, the fab@home was a cheap to make, easy to assemble, home fabricator, capable of printing almost any material into 3D shapes.

The hope of its creators was that it would kick-start the home manufacturing revolution, and we speculated as to the directions this technology might take, as well as touching on projects being planned at the time. Useful as a comparison to how the technology has actually developed.

Locally Hosted resource
Home-Use desktop 3D Fabricator debuts
Industry News

The age of cheap, home fabrication and rapid prototyping WITHOUT dedicated facilities, may finally be dawning upon us. A cheap, self-assembly unit, costing little more than a new PC, has been developed by a group of US researchers, which actually has superior capabilities to many high-end commercial fabricators.

Locally Hosted resource
Proof of Concept for “The 3D Printer Problem”
For SIGGRAPH 2013, one joint research team presented a proof of concept method to solve the 3D printer problem - the ability of any 3D printer to theoretically counterfeit any physical object small enough for it to print. They demonstrate a terahertz-radiation 'watermark' that can be 3D printed inside a genuine object, is easy to scan for, and very difficult to duplicate from the scan data.


The age of cheap, home fabrication and rapid prototyping without any requirement for dedicated facilities, may finally be dawning upon us. A cheap, self-assembly unit, costing little more than a new PC, was developed at the very start of 2007. Here, we chart its progress, and see if the revolution is truly revolutionary.




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Art and History (4)

Locally Hosted resource
India's Digital Heritage programme: Taking heritage to VR
Microsoft Research has embarked on a pilot programme designed to digitise India's cultural heritage, and enable visitors to tour some of the greatest sites, without physical intrusion, or risking damage to structures.

Locally Hosted resource
Museo Archeologico Virtuale (Virtual Museum of Archaeology)
Museo Archeologico Virtuale (MAV) is a first in museums. This Italian project aims to preserve history, improve upon visitor participation and deal with shrinking budgets all in one fell stroke. MAV is a prototype for a new kind of museum. No exhibits, just VR & AR.

Linked resource
Shedding light on the Catacombs of Rome
A BBC video article on how Rome's underground Christian, Jewish and pagan burial sites have been replicated precisely into 3D, explorable environments.

Linked resource
Virtual worlds with real purposes
BBC Click examines the creation of a virtual copy of Berlin, intended as a space for virtual tourism.