Getting Started & Troubleshooting – Please Review

February 12, 2014

By Nicole Yankelovich

The WonderBuilders team has just completed drafts of two new documents:

Before we add these links to the Documentation Wiki and Open Wonderland web site, we would appreciate your help in reviewing these documents. Please send us feedback in terms of errors or suggestions for improvements, preferably by replying to the related discussion on the Open Wonderland forum:

New Getting Started and Troubleshooting Docs to Review

You can also leave comments here or on the Open Wonderland Facebook page.

We would appreciate feedback by Monday, February 24th. We will incorporate any feedback we get between now and then, update the documents, and then add links to the new guides on the Documentation Wiki.


Experimenting with New Navigation Paradigms

January 15, 2014

By Nicole Yankelovich

In my work with clients, one common concern is how long it will take users to learn to use Open Wonderland. Moving the avatar around a space is typically one of the clients’ biggest concerns. To address this issue, my company, WonderBuilders, has been thinking about different mechanisms for avatar navigation. One strategy we have implemented for customer projects is an enhanced Best View feature that allows users to focus in on objects by clicking on them.

In this way, users navigate by moving only their avatar camera, and not the avatar. In some scenarios, this approach works well. There is, however, at least one serious drawback. If the avatar does not actually move and the object they are focusing in on is far away, they will not be able to hear audio in the vicinity of the object they are looking at.

To address this issue, we recently added a new capability called “Navigate To.” Now, when the user clicks on an object, their avatar will move to a location near that object that the world builder has specified.

Navigate To can be used in conjunction with Best View or on its own.

As we have added these capabilities, we also had to address the issue of which capabilities take precedence when more than one is applied to an object. For now we have hard-coded an ordering. Navigate To always comes first, followed by Best View, which is followed by Audio, and so forth. Eventually it will probably be necessary to create an interactive ordering tool so that the world builder can specify the order they desire.


Happy Holidays

December 26, 2013

The Open Wonderland community received a video holiday greeting from community member Nisarg Naik:

Thanks Nisarg. Happy Holidays to you and to to everyone in the community!


Cyramix Press Release and Video

November 27, 2013

Hypergrid Business just published a press release from Cyramix, the new Open Wonderland hosting service:

Cyramix offers Wonderland hosting

It includes this demo video:


ESL Cyberlearning Summary Video

August 28, 2013

By Nicole Yankelovich

As described in previous blog articles (“ESL Instruction Using Open Wonderland” and “NSF Funds Wonderland ESL Project at STCC“), WonderBuilders has been working with the English as a Second Language faculty at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Massachusetts to deploy a Wonderland environment for English-language learning. This video, created as an update for the NSF project sponsors, provides an overview of the project.


Printscreen Plugin with a Photo Gallery

August 21, 2013

By Dominik Alessandri & Christian Wietlisbach
Hochschule Luzern Technik & Architektur

As part of our bachelor thesis, along with our Kinect module described last month, we developed a printscreen plugin for Open Wonderland. When the plugin is installed on a server, all connected users can choose if screenshots should be saved locally or on the server. If saved on the server, the pictures can be displayed in an automatically updated photo gallery. The update of the picture gallery is made with a shell script which is running as task in the background on the server. We had to implement it this way, as we did not find a way to save directly in the ‘docRoot’ folder in the ‘run’ directory. The shell script uses rsync to keep these two folders in sync.

When a user is connected to a server with the printscreen plugin installed, he can display the controls of the plugin by selecting ‘Window -> Printscreen Folder’:

printscreen_display_window

The Printscreen Folder dialog allows the user to choose where to save the images:

printscreen_settings

When pressing the ‘o’ key, a new screenshot will be taken and either saved locally or on the server. The reason why the key binding was done with ‘o’ is very simple: The printscreen key is not forwarded from the client to the module. The capture of the key event is done on a level before the module gets the event. On this higher level, the “Print Screen” key is filtered and the module doesn’t get any event. Instead the message “Key is not allowed” appears. Version 3 of jMonkey will support taking screenshots by default, making it easier to capture the screen.

On the server-side, the screenshots are saved in /.wonderland-server/0.5/run/content/images/screenshot/. This folder should be created by an administrator when installing the plugin.

To run the photogallery, the content of the file ‘lightbox.zip’ needs to be extracted to /.wonderland-server/0.5/run/docRoot/lightbox/. This photo gallery shows all images stored in /.wonderland-server/0.5/run/docRoot/screenshot/. To update the photo gallery, we need a background task which copies the files from /.wonderland-server/0.5/run/content/images/screenshot/ to /.wonderland-server/0.5/run/docRoot/screenshot/. For example, the shell-script ‘copyScreenshot.sh’ can do the job.

An example of this photo gallery can be seen here: http://147.88.213.71:8080/lightbox/

Photo-gallery

You will need the following files to get the printscreen plugin running:


Effect of Supraliminal Priming on Team Brainstorming

August 14, 2013

By Nicole Yankelovich

Anne Massey, a professor at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business wrote to me to tell me about a recent article she co-authored with Akshay Bhagwatwar and Alan Dennis. In the paper, they describe their fascinating research on using Open Wonderland to enhance brainstorming. Here’s a pointer to their paper (PDF version) along with one of the images from the paper and the abstract.

Creative Virtual Environments: Effect of Supraliminal Priming on Team Brainstorming

Bhagwatwar, A., Massey, A., & Dennis, A. R. (2013, January). In System Sciences (HICSS), 2013 46th Hawaii International Conference on (pp. 215-224). IEEE.

Indiana-creative-priming

Three Dimensional Virtual Environments (VEs) have potential as platforms for collaboration. VEs enable members of teams, represented as avatars, to interact in a simulated world that can be designed in a variety of different ways. Research from cognitive psychology has shown that it is possible to manipulate non-conscious cognition and behavior through “priming”, a well-known phenomenon in which words and images are used to activate desired concepts in participants’ minds. In the context of team brainstorming, we posit that VEs can improve performance when specifically designed with visual objects intended to prime team members and enhance their creativity. Using Open Wonderland, an open source toolkit for creating 3D collaborative environments, we designed two VEs to support virtual team brainstorming: one looked like a generic conference hall while the other was visually designed to prime team members. Results show that when teams generated ideas in the creative VE, they generated significantly more and better quality ideas than when they worked in the generic one. In terms of key contributions, our study (1) demonstrates the efficacy of 3D VEs as collaboration spaces for facilitating team creativity, and (2) shows that the design of the VE itself can influence team performance.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54 other followers

%d bloggers like this: