Friday, November 10, 2017

2018 IMA: EDU: Wanted: a virtual world viewer for education. Straw-man model

Wanted: a virtual world viewer for education: 
Straw-man model
Updated 1/11/2018
A straw-man model for a virtual world viewer is presented with the objective of eliciting comments and suggestions for improvement.  Comments and suggestions will be used to produce a more refined model.  This article is explicitly licensed as public domain.
  • A straw-man model is used to start developing specs
  • Straw-man strategy: You put it up and everyone tells you what is wrong with it.
  • Comments and suggestions will be used to produce a more refined model.
  • This article is explicitly licensed as public domain.

What do we need from a viewer for education and educational research?

  • Minimize viewer learning time 
  • CapabilityUser activity tracking.
  • Use secure, web-compatible exchange protocols (https)
  • Meet standard accessibility requirements for educational offerings.
  • Use a standard, widely taught, scripting language.
  • Provide for still and video capture. by learner, instructor, and researcher
  • Provide settings to configure for multiple learning styles.
  • Mobile device compatibility
  • Microlearning compatibility 
  • Support for individualized instruction guided by observed performance.
  • Comply with relevant industry specs.

Easy learning of viewer use

  • Cut actions to be learned to minimum needed for education:
  • Walk, talk (voice), text
  • Make friends, locate friends
  • Send and receive instant messages
  • Click objects to activate or select them.
  • Gather objects and place them (learners can build to keep score)
  • More? TBD

Accessibility requirements (TBD)

  • Text to speech (probably available)
  • Speech to text (in test on web-worlds)
  • Use only browser compatible calls 
  • More?  TBD

Desirable features

  • Optional recording to MP4
  • Recall recording: Last N minutes before an error. 
  • Small segment video recording.
  • Small segment saving for micro learning review.
  • Add drag and drop importing for images, COLLADA files*, videos, urls, and avatars.
  • *And other industry standard model formats: obj, 3ds, wrl, x3d
  • Allow user to drag windows off the viewer screen.
  • Keep compatibility with OpenSimulatorHeliosHalcyon  and Whitecoresim 
  • Integrate with web-world development (CybaloungeWebworldz)
  • Offer optional tips on learning and web-use.
  • Provide hooks for the insertion of hand-held controls.
  • Provide a way to overlay part of the virtual world scene on a video image.
  • More?  TBD

Relevant industry specs

Thanks to Lisa Laxton (Infinite Metaverse Alliance) for help on this

Virtual Worlds and Simulation  VRML-ISO Standards .wrl and .x3d formats plus Humanoid Animation Standard for Collada 3D .dae files  Standards page mostly for real-time military simulation HLA and DIS standards   Building Model Standards Info Model Correct RL design for size etc. Human sizing  Open Geospatial Standards (Close to Web3D GIS mapping)


Usability, User Interface Design, and User Experience User Experience Guidelines  Tools for Usability  Web design Standards HTML5 etc  Browser Standards media players etc.

Internet-based Data

Security  Cyber Security Standards Network Security Standards Applies to Open Simulator  .net Specificiation for c#  C4 Crypto Currency Standards

Virtual and Augmented Reality Head mounted Display Motion sickness issues VR Standards headsets for UK  Standards for AR headsets  New committee at IEEE for VR Standards

WebGL specs (for web-worlds) 

Suggested open source resources for viewer


Mesh handling



Open Source Viewers (Source Code):

Linden Labs (original project)

OnLook (third party viewer of interest)

Firestorm (third party viewer of interest)

Kokua OS (third party viewer of interest)

Radegast (third party viewer of interest)

Singularity (third party viewer of interest)

CtrlAltStudio (third party viewer of interest no longer in development)

Alchemy (third party viewer of interest)



  • Original text in this blog is CC By: unless specified public domain
  • Use as you please with attribution: link to the original.
  • All images without attribution in this blog are CC0: public domain.

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