Monday, December 22, 2008

MPEG-V(irtual) step #2: A Call for Technology Proposal for Standards in Virtual Worlds

I have just posted a lengthy post about the next phase of the MPEG-V(irtual) call.
MPEG, a working group in ISO/IEC, has produced many important standards (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPEG-7, and MPEG-21). MPEG feels that it is important to standardize intermediate formats and protocols for “Information exchange with Virtual Worlds”, MPEG-V in the areas of “Data representations between virtual worlds” and “Data representations between virtual worlds and the physical world”.
See the entire post here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

PlayStation Home goes open beta

Sony has just launched the public beta of PlayStation Home, Sony's metaverse for PS3.

It looks awesome and full of possibilities (have a look at the plane sequence, please!), and they already have a strong partnership. Let's see if and how they handle content creation.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No more Lively...

Google has just decided to shut down its Virtual World plateform "Lively". 

Google comments: In July we launched Lively in Google Labs because we wanted users to be able to interact with their friends and express themselves online in new ways. Google has always been supportive of this kind of experimentation because we believe it's the best way to create groundbreaking products that make a difference to people's lives. But we've also always accepted that when you take these kinds of risks not every bet is going to pay off.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

VR-WEAR Second Life Head Analysis Viewer (Bringing emotions to your avatar)

VR-WEAR was created in 2008 to design engaging tools for virtual worlds following a simple equation :


Founded by a team of hardware and software experts, VR-WEAR will introduce new interaction paradigms to virtual worlds while opening them to the masses.

That's nice! Webcam Head-Tracking in Second Life.

VR-WEAR Second Life Head Analysis Viewer

Friday, October 31, 2008

Virtual Worlds SOS Q3-2008 State of Standards Slides

The slides from the London conference are here

This is an overview of Metavers1, Mpeg v and the grand effort of making standards for virtual worlds.

Have Fun.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saving lives in a virtual world

The call comes through. A young female has collapsed in the street outside a nightclub.

The paramedic is dispatched to the scene, parks his ambulance and starts to assess the situation.

The young woman appears drunk and is singing in a slurred way, but after an examination and blood and glucose tests the paramedic discovers she is also diabetic and in need of immediate treatment.

It's a testing scenario for a student paramedic, and one where there is the potential to make some dangerous errors.


Interesting scenario. You can read the whole article here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

LORIA / INRIA Nancy Grand Est (French Consortium)

A General Overview

INRIA (National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control) is a French public-sector scientific and technological institute operating under the dual authority of the Ministry in charge of Research and the Ministry in charge of Industry. General Headquarters are situated at Rocquencourt not so far from Paris. INRIA has eight main research units at: Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lille, Nancy (INRIA Nancy Grand Est), Rennes, Rocquencourt, Saclay, and Sophia-Antipolis. INRIA's missions are "to undertake basic and applied research, to design experimental systems, to ensure technology and knowledge transfer, to organize international scientific exchanges, to carry out scientific assessments, and to contribute to standardization".

The research carried out at INRIA brings together experts from the fields of computer science and applied mathematics covering the following areas: networks and systems; software engineering and symbolic computing; man-machine interaction; image processing, data management, knowledge systems; simulation and optimization of complex systems. 

INRIA gathers in its premises around 2 100 persons including 1 300 scientists, many of which belong to partner organizations (CNRS, industrial labs, universities) and are assigned to work in common research teams called "projects".  On INRIA's budget, around 500 full-time equivalent R&D positions can be accounted for. A large number of INRIA senior researchers are involved in teaching and their PhD students (about 550) prepare their thesis within the different INRIA research projects (about 90). 

Its budget is roughly 90 MEuro, 25% of which comes from research and development contracts, royalties and sales. 

Technology transfer is addressed at INRIA via industrial contracts (400 running), European Projects (already 300 executed), Framework agreements with specific industrial companies, and finally the creation of Technology companies (40 created since 1984). In 1998, INRIA has launched a subsidiary to promote high-tech start-up companies: INRIA-TRANSFERT deals with early accompaniment of the future companies and is the instigator of the I-Source Gestion company, in charge of setting up start up funds in the field of Information Technology.

LORIA (Laboratoire Lorrain de Recherche en Informatique et ses Applications) is a joint laboratory of the CNRS, INRIA and the three Universities of Nancy, putting together more than 400 researchers and PhD students. It is dedicated to fundamental and applied research in computer science with topics ranging from theoretical computer science, software engineering, parallelism, artificial intelligence, image synthesis and man-machine communication.

The TALARIS project (Traitement Automatique des LAngues : Représentations, Inférences et Sémantique) is devoted to Computational Lingusitics with special emphasis on research topics related to semantics and inference.

Our current research activities within the TALARIS project

Dealing with multilingual information is crucial to describing the content or the behavior of elementary components to specific user needs or targets. It requires one to consider potential situations where the linguistic information can be adapted on the fly to the linguistic needs of a user, or by using any additional process where an elementary component should be adapted before presenting it to the user.

The Multi Lingual Information Framework (MLIF – ISO WD 24616) is being designed with the objective of providing a common abstract model being able to generate several formats used in the framework of translation and localisation such as TMX or XLIFF.

MLIF also aims to propose a platform of specification for representing multilingual contents in a whole range of applications, as the localization and translation memory process, interactive and HD TV, karaoke, subtitles, accessibility, … MLIF promotes the use of a common framework for the future development of several different formats, for example: TBX (TermBase eXchange Standard), TMX (Translation Memory eXchange Standard), XLIFF (XML Localization Interchange File Format), W3C’s SMILtext (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language), etc. It does not create a complete new format from scratch, but suggests that the overlapping issues should be handled independently and separately. It will save time and energy for different groups and will provide synergy to work in collaboration.

Presently, all the groups (i.e. LISA, OASIS, W3C, ISO, …) are working independently and do not have any mechanism for taking advantage of each other’s tools. MLIF proposes to concentrate on only those specific issues that are different from others and specific to one format only, so it will create a smaller domain for the groups’ developers. It gives more time to concentrate on a subset of the problems they are currently dealing with and creates a niche that helps in providing a better solution for problems of multilingual data handling and translation issues.

In MLIF, we deal with the issue of overlap between the existing formats. MLIF involves the development of an API through which all these formats will be integrated into the core MLIF structure. This is done through the identification and a selection of data categories as stated in ISO 12620. MLIF can be considered as a parent for all the formats that we have mentioned before. Since all these formats deal with multilingual data expressed in the form of segments or text units they can all be stored, manipulated and translated in a similar manner.
Our line of attack is largely inspired by the methodology used to develop TMF (Terminological Mark-up Framework) ISO 16642. So, we identify and select a set of data categories as stated in ISO 12620 (data category register).  The way these data categories are related and associated to each other is described by a metamodel. This metamodel and the selected data categories are a high-level representation of multilingual content. From this high-level representation we are able to generate any specific format: we can thus ensure the interoperability between several multilingual content formats and their applications.

A first draft of MLIF has been developed, used an tested within the ITEA Passepartout Project (ITEA 04017). Currently, MLIF has became an “Working Draft” (WD) of ISO’s TC37/SC4 “Linguistic Resources Management”. We have also been working on a new W3C's SMIL 3.0 module called SMILtext (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language -

LORIA / INRIA Nancy Grand Est (TALARIS Project) and METAVERSE1

So, in the framework of the METAVERSE1 project, LORIA / INRIA Nancy Grand Est (TALARIS project) will mainly contribute to multilingual related issues (i.e. standardisation, handling and representation of multilingual textual information, ...). Also, within the scenario having being specified by the METAVERSE1 French consortium, LORIA / INRIA Nancy Grand Est will work on the detection of emotions from the analysis of textual information (i.e. chat).

General Information

LORIA / INRIA Nancy Grand Est
Contact Person: Dr. Samuel Cruz-Lara
Campus Scientifique - LORIA Bâtiment « B » - BP 239
F-54506 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex
Phone (+33) 3 83 59 20 31
Fax (+33) 3 83 41 30 79

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Second Life launches Inmersive Spaces

Second Life has launched Inmersive Spaces, a solution for corporate distant meeting organisation, based in SL. It includes screens for presentations, shared navigation, webcam ... for companies that need to avoid trips for meetings or to share a visual environment for cooperation.

I hope none of our usecases is affected xD!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Use case 4 at work at Veldhoven

Solipsis a Peer2peer virtual world platform

During the kick off Metaverse1 meeting I mention the existence of Solipsis that is a LGPL open source virtual world platform.

You may find all the information you need here

I you have still questions without response I will be glad to connect you with the Solipsis project leader.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Metaverse1 meeting is about to end -- we had lots of fun

Its 17:00 and we are now going to have a party!!! (afterm we talk about use cases).

Kick off is about to start... Jean is about to start ...

after 20 months, we are now starting... with about 34 firms we are about to start Metaverse1. More later...

So ...

1. Virtual worlds will be very big -- (metaverse is a technical term that means exactly the same).
2. But... to fulfill the potential we need "standards" -- to allow innovation.
3. So we want to do standards. How?
3.1. We have identified several use cases (what virtual worlds can do)
3.2 We will do a review of what standards are out there.
3.3 We will develop a framework system for the virtual worlds.
3.4 It will include a reference for the standards out there, as well as what is missing.
4. We will implement the case studies to test the standards.
5. The standards will be streamed into the work of ISO MPEG-V.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Virtual Worlds (SOS) State of Standards London Oct 20,21

I will giving a talk in Virtual Worlds London (Oct 20,21) about the State of Standards. If you have any specific inputs please drop me a line. I guess I will see some of you in the Kick Off meeting earlier but wanted to give you enough time to give me specific input on this field.

Here's the abstract:
Virtual Worlds State of Standards (SOS):
MPEG-V, Metaverse1, Open-SIM and more

With Virtual Worlds development, we will enjoy a constant stream of innovations, creations, services, and products. Things like art, medicine, learning, and shopping will be enhanced by virtual galleries, home treatment clinics, learning kiosks and family owned stores. However, there is one major roadblock to this vision: lack of standards - hence the term SOS. On the Internet, we were able to overcome this block with a well-oiled open system of standards that facilitates innovation and growth. We were unable to overcome this block in the gaming world where major game companies have their own systems. There are several formal, open source, and private initiatives aimed at creating an stadards for virtual worlds. State of Stadnards will review the current efforts in the field, and identify key factors in this work. The talk cover MPEG-V, Metaverse1, Opensim, Croquet, Sun's virtual worlds, Linden's and IBM architecture group.

Meetings Meetings Meetings

Both Jean and Yesha will attend Virtual Worlds 2008 in LA, USA -- Sep 3,4.
Yesha will also attend Second Life Community Conference in Tampa, USA -- Sep 5,6.
Also... closer to Europe... Virtual Worlds London -- Oct 20, 21. See special note about that.

Oct 7, 8: Kick Off for Metaverse1 in Veldhoven, Veldlhoven (near Eindhoven) The Netherlands

We are happy to announce that the official Kick-off meeting will take place in Veldhoven, Veldlhoven (near Eindhoven) The Netherlands Oct 7th and 8th.

You should have received your invitation with hotel details directly from the Metaverse1 office.

(Draft) Agenda of the Metaverse1 Kick-Off workshop

October 7

Ø 09:00 Welcome and Introduction

Ø 09:45 Consortium changes and impact (overview)

Ø 10:30 Break

Ø 11:00 Start of parallel working groups

Ø WG1: Starting the actual work è Operational Work plan

Ø WG2: Consortium changes and impact è Revision of project plan

Ø WG3: Way of Working è Project Handbook

Ø WG4: Advanced status of the standardization efforts è Input to MPEG-V

Ø 12:30 Lunch

Ø 13:30 Parallel working groups (Cont.)

Ø WG1: Starting the actual work è Operational Work plan

Ø WG2: Consortium changes and impact è Revision of project plan

Ø WG3: Way of Working è Project Handbook

Ø WG4: Advanced status of the standardization efforts è Input to MPEG-V

Ø 15:00 Break

Ø 15:30 Feedback from the Parallel working groups (4 * 15’)

Ø 16:30 Alignment discussion (preparation for WG’s in Day 2)

Ø 17:15 Concluding and plan for second day

Ø 17:30 End of first day

Dinner/ Social event

October 8

Ø 09:00 Parallel working groups (Cont. & Implementing Alignment)

Ø WG1: Starting the actual work è Operational Work plan

Ø WG2: Consortium changes and impact è Revision of project plan

Ø WG3: Way of Working è Project Handbook

Ø WG4: Advanced status of the standardization efforts è Input to MPEG-V

Ø 10:30 Break

Ø 11:00 Parallel working groups (Concluding & Finalizing)

Ø WG1: è Operational Work plan

Ø WG2: è Revision of project plan

Ø WG3: è Project Handbook

Ø WG4: è Input to MPEG-V

Ø 12:30 Lunch

Ø 13:30 Feedback from the Parallel working groups (4 * 20’)

Ø WG1: Starting the actual work è Operational Work plan

Ø WG2: Consortium changes and impact è Revision of project plan

Ø WG3: Way of Working è Project Handbook

Ø WG4: Advanced status of the standardization efforts è Input to MPEG-V

Ø 15:00 Break

Ø 15:30 Detailed planning & action plan ‘active work packages’

Ø WP1 (Use case driven requirements & State of the art overview) (30’)

Ø WP4 (Dissemination, Standardization & Exploitation) (10’)

Ø WP5 (Project Management) (10’)

Ø 16:30 Concluding, Wrap-Up and AOB

Ø 17:00 End of second day and kick-off workshop

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Meet us at Virtual Worlds 2008

Few team members will be in Virtual Worlds 2008 in NYC. Email Yesha for a short meeting.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Birth of MPEG-V (MPEG for Virtual Worlds)

Good news from Jean Gelissen from Philips Research in the Netherlands about MPEG for Virtual Worlds (AKA MPEG-V): most of you already know, [I] started the standardization track already in ISO, the International Standardization Organization in order not to loose valuable time (pleas note that international standardization takes quite some time ..). The basis for the start of a new standard (or part of a standard) track is a ‘Context and Objectives’ document (see the first attachment) together with the request for a new standard. This has been done at the October 2007 MPEG meeting and this request for a new work item has been the subject for an international ballot. The outcome of this ballot has been published at the end of January 2008 resulting in the acceptance of the new work item. During the last MPEG meeting it has been decided that this will be positioned as an independent MPEG standard named MPEG-V (Information exchange with Virtual Worlds). This all is very positive news for us, it provides us a high level of recognition and visibility, however this also implies that we have to take this very serious and have to start working (preparing) for the actual standardization process already now. It’s the intention that at the end of the next MPEG meeting (end of April 2008) a call for requirements will be issued (responses, so the actual requirements, are expected at the next MPEG meeting end of July 2008 and will be the bases for a call for technology proposals to fulfill the requirements).