By Roland Sassen
With the availability of numerous tablets, it is a natural step to use these devices for all kinds of applications. But what to do when your applications need a lot of graphical power? Most virtual world toolkits have a heavy client, which uses the local graphics card for rendering.
The good news is that it is possible now to run your client in the cloud and enjoy your 3D application on your tablet. WonderSchool is an example of a virtual world service provider that allows you to access your virtual world from a PC client or from a handheld. Technically this is possible by using remote desktop software installed as an app on your handheld. The app receives the images and forwards these to your tablet screen. As an example, look at this video where you can see how to use the Open Wonderland virtual world on an iPad.
How it Works
The Sun Ray device, a stateless device, has been emulated by Oracle, and this emulation is available as OVDC (Oracle Virtual Display Client). This small software component is also available as an iPad app (Oracle Virtual Desktop Client App for iPad) and can be seen demonstrated in this Oracle Virtual Desktop on iPad in Action video.
Our company, THINSIA, enhances this functionality with access to a server with the Open Wonderland client. This client connects to an Open Wonderland server and to a video server for the rendering of the images. The rendered images are sent directly to the Sun Ray server and are forwarded to your device, in this case an iPad.
WonderSchool offers hosted Open Wonderland servers and hosted OWL clients. It will be an interesting project to make these technologies available in a huge grid for many thousands of schools and universities. As all the components used here are scalable, the sky is the limit.
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