Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 OSHG: TECH: cybaLOUNGE: A Virtual World in your Browser by Edward Tarber

cybaLOUNGE:  A Virtual World in your Browser 
by Edward Tarber
Updated 2/4/2017
Invited article by Edward Tarber reporting on the development of his browser-based virtual world.  This development may lead to greatly improved access to virtual worlds.
A meeting in cybaLOUNGE

Vision

To create a 3D browser-based virtual world platform consisting of backend software and a viewer, which can be easily accessed and be used to host virtual worlds for:
  • Leisure / Entertainment
  • Social Communities
  • Education / Teaching / Learning
  • Collaboration / Workspaces
  • Marketing Products and Services

Cybalounge as entry to virtual worlds

  • Cybalounge does not have to offer the experience we can get with a viewer.
  • It can sell virtual worlds if it can offer just a sample of that experience.  
  • A sample could be enough to tell people why they want to install a viewer.
  • Maybe it could open to some OpenSim places browser-friendly protocols.
  • An upcoming version of Halcyon will use browser-friendly protocols.

Background


Demos

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  • (More after the break, scroll down!)
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Metaverse events, current and upcoming

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Basic objectives

  • 100% browser based viewer with no plugins, no installation required for end users. 
  • Use of http/https protocol only to avoid problems with firewalls, router settings.*
  • Support for a wide range of devices, like desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles.
  • User generated content to be shared and used by everyone.
  • Open architecture to be easily extended with new features.
  • *Browser protocols also provide increased security--Selby

Architecture

Usage of existing technologies and libraries to create a software system, which is easy to deploy, easy to maintain and easy to extend. cybaLOUNGE on the server side is based on a classic web stack and client side current web technologies are used, which are available in all major desktop and mobile browsers.
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The whole system is scalable horizontally, so that new servers can be added anytime and a large number of locations can be run in parallel.
  

Challenges

Limited browser resources (e.g.,available memory), limit the complexity of scenes and number of concurrent avatars (about 20 to 30 max. for now).  This may be less than the capability of client viewers.

Performance

  • Reliance on WebGL implementation inside browser and driver support for graphics cards (especially older graphics cards are badly supported).
  • Usual scenes run with 60 FPS on a 3 year old average development system.
  • About 30 to 40 FPS for more complex scenes.

Features (available in Jan. 2017 )

  • Interactive 3D environments with sky and water
  • Realistic lights and shadows
  • Public and private chat (voice chat in alpha)
  • Audio streaming of voice and music
  • Video streaming
  • Build tool to create whole locations or just simple objects
  • Upload of textures, models, sound clips
  • Basic inventory system
  • Event system for objects
  • Editor to create new avatar animation
  • Integration of slide presentations and html content

Features (planned)

  • Fully customizable avatars
  • Improved building tools
  • Complete voice chat
  • Integrated eReader
  • More sophisticated camera control
  • Scripting for locations and objects
  • Whiteboard / blackboard (with writing/drawing support)
  • Virtual corkboard for post-its, …
  • Questionnaire module (for executing simple questionnaire / tests in-world)

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News and Notes

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    The Hypergrid WIP Show

    • The Hypergrid WIP is a one hour "show & tell" of works in progress or recently completed. 
    • Everyone is invited.  Building, scripting, promotion, entertainment-- whatever you are working on.
    -
    • Presentations are in voice and text.  
    • For text presentations, best bring the text in a notecard and paste it into chat.  
    • Voice presentations may be captured in video.  
    • Stills and videos from the show may appear in this blog and elsewhere.

    Next WIP show

    • Next WIP show: Sun. Jan 8, Noon SLT 
    • Narasnook  location (second Sunday of the month)
    • Pandora allows presenters to run high threat OSSL functions.
    • world.narasnook.com:8900
    • Put the line above in your World Map next to Find.  Click FindTP
    • At Narasnook, use World Map to search for Pandora
    • Cookie II location (fourth Sunday of the month)
    • HG address below: paste into the World Map next to Find. Click Find, TP
    • grid.kitely.com:8002:Cookie II 
    • in Kitely: paste into Nav (top) bar of Firestorm, Enter.
    • hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Cookie II/68/369/22

            Previous Articles from the WIP show 

            HG links-- depending on your interests 

            Radio in the virtual world

            Metaverse beginner help

                      Schools in virtual worlds


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