Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tech: Museum AR iPad Application

Neat video here of AR application running on an iPad at the Natural History Museum in London, UK. Excellent use of the device to create an engaging, highly interactive, museum exhibit.

Brings across the ability of the touch interface to colocate the gestures of the user, with the video feed of the scene.

The video has David Attenborough narrating too.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Humour: Inception Movie in BPMN?

Article here at BoingBoing about the hand drawn diagram used by Christopher Nolan to develop the movie Inception. For those not in the know, Inception has a complex plot involving parallel timelines within dreams.

Looking at the timelines in the sketch, they have a certain swimlane appearance to them. And, note the circles with crosses; maybe they are a form of choice, with synchronisation points occurring later in the narrative. Looks a little like BPMN to me, if you squint.

Maybe Nolan worked at SAP as a BA before his present film making gig. :-)


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Process Game: DOD CPI Missile Making Game

Here's a link to a serious (maybe) game regarding Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) in missile manufacturing, created by the Defence Acquisition University (DAU).

From their site: "Aliens are coming and only you can save the earth by employing Continuous Process Improvement in this game where building missiles is the number one priority!"

Some nice Flash content (chuckled at the WII era propaganda introduction) and approaches here to teaching people about CPI using a humorous story line.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Justification: SimOnAStick

A while back in March this year, I blogged about how you can store a virtual world on a USB stick, and distribute it, just like a word document for commenting. This was intended as an article to break down the notion that you always have to think of a virtual world as a cloud service, it can be considered to be just like a local document that can be annotated.

Well, there is now a web site call SimOnAStick, where they literally provide a distribution of OpenSim and the Impromptu Viewer to fit onto a USB stick.

I told you I was right. :-)


Friday, December 3, 2010

Disruptive Business Model: Level Editing

In my work I have lots of conversations with companies that consume 3D visualisation technology. I am noticing that these companies have a habit of investing in such systems using a business approach of purchasing the visualisation as one large artifact, lock stock and barrel, and in the process being charged exorbitant amounts of money for every modification and new feature to be adde. In addition, some of the extensions are to me trivial, and not worth the money paid.

This reminds me of the old school processes used in software production, when I was a callow youth at La Trobe University in the late eighties. It was noted then that bespoke creation of software was prohibitively expensive, and that new packages were being created to facilitate the easier and cheaper process of "configuring" a shrink wrapped package to be the company's information system, especially for small enterprises.

I teach a lot of students in games project units at QUT, where students will take the position of a level designer for the project team. Once content is created by the animators/artists to fulfil the look and feel of a game design, it can then be reconfigured via simple(r) scripting by the level designer, who may have limited programming skill sets, but can develop event models of gameplay for the environment.

So why are companies purchasing such enormously expensive bespoke systems, when they could hire a graduate to reconfigure present systems for a potentially cheaper price? Strikes me that there is a disruptive style business opportunity due to three reasons:
  1. Cheap technology can cope with this task - there are lots of game engine level editors out there that can do this work easily, which contain low barrier to entry scripting languages.
  2. Skilled workforce is available - universities are teaching this technology as part of games and simulation degrees. Lots of non-programming people have also participated in modding communities, doing similar tasks with games like Half Life 2.
  3. Content is much more easily available - Google Sketchup Warehouse et al. has delivered a lot of content for people to use, at cost or even free.
We'll see what happens over the next few years in the business visualisation/simulation space, but I expect these forces will bring about an even greater dispersion of such technology, to the point that 3D virtual worlds and related components will become affordable to SMEs in many new application domains. Might make a good research topic for an IS PhD. :-)


Monday, November 29, 2010

News: Unity Powered Web SL/OpenSim Viewer

Tipodean technologies has just released a web-based browser called Canvas, for OpenSim and Second Life.

Tipodean is run by an Australian, Chris Collins, ex Linden Labs.

November 29, 2010 - Tipodean Technologies is pleased to announce the preview launch of Canvas, a web-based viewer for both Second Life and Opensim. Licensed from IBM, Canvas is unique in that it is highly scalable and easily customizable. Built with Unity3D and open web technologies, the web development community will be able to create unique and branded immersive virtual world experiences without having to know/learn new or complex code. The viewer can run as a hosted solution for individual use or be deployed to be hosted by others. "Canvas gives you the ability to have a light weight web-based virtual world solution that can configured to whatever your needs may be. Combing Canvas with OpenSim allows for an out-of the-box scalable virtual world deployable in the web", said Chris Collins, CEO of Tipodean Technologies.

Tipodean will be distributing and supporting Canvas. It will be offered in two forms: on a per user basis and as a completely customized deployment. Distribution of Canvas will start the week of December 6th, 2010. For more information, please contact Tipodean at +1 (415) 669-4028 or

Tipodean Technologies is a company focused on virtual world technology that is easily accessible to all.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Links: QUT Game Students' Work

My students at QUT have just completed their final year projects. Some of them are absolute crackers; I'm VERY proud of their work.

I have included a list of the URLs for their projects that they set up as part of the deliverables required in the project unit. They all contain movies, download links for executables and team contact details.

BTW, they will be looking for work now. So feel free to contact them if you are looking for virtual world programming and content creation talent. :-)


Links to student work follow:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Humour: Synergon is a BLARP

Great article via Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing:

"Synergon is a BLARP: a business live-action role-playing game. Players create fantasy characters who start out as low-level corporate drones and then perform boring, soul-destroying repetitive tasks set by a game-master (called "The Boss") until they level up. Players also fight one another for the chance to do more boring, soul-destroying tasks."

Now all we have to do is add a process model system to it, and we'll have a real money maker ;-)


Sunday, October 31, 2010

CFP: International Conference on Digital Information and Communication Technology and its Applications (DICTAP2011)

The International Conference on Digital Information and Communication Technology and its Applications (DICTAP2011)

University de Bourgogne, France

The DICTAP2011 proceedings will be published in the " Communications in Computer and Information Science " (CCIS) Series of Springer LNCS

You are invited to participate in The International Conference on Digital Information and Communication Technology and its Applications that will be held in Dijon, France, on June 21-23, 2011. The event will be held over three days, with presentations delivered by researchers from the international community, including presentations from keynote speakers and state-of-the-art lectures.

Best selected papers will be published in the following special issue journals

  1. Journal of Computer Systems, Networks, and Communications.
  2. International Journal of Green Computing.
  3. International Journal of Knowledge and Web Intelligence.
  4. International Journal of Parallel, Emergent and Distributed Systems
  5. International Journal of Web Based Communities (IJWBC)

Important Dates

Submission DateFeb. 20, 2011
Notification of acceptanceApril 1, 2011
Camera Ready submissionApril 10, 2011
RegistrationApril 10, 2011
Conference datesJune 21-23, 2011


DICTAP will be organized by University de Bourgogne, Dijon, France in cooperation with The Society of Digital Information and Wireless Communications (SDIWC). All the activities of the conference will take place in France.

Would you like to organize a workshop or a special session or a tutorial?

If you are interested in organizing any workshop or special session, please send us email to di@sdiwc.netwith the title of the session

Would you like to be a reviewer?

All the reviewing are online. Please visit then select link be a reviewer. More details are listed there.


Submission instructions are listed at this link Submission of Papers


Send E-Mail to : See for further details:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Crytek Architectural Visualisation

Video of a Ukrainian architect's experiments with the Crytek 2 game engine. Shows very intricate and highly realistic visualisations of a suburban landscape. Improves the speed of visualisation, as all of this detail can be generated within a level editor that comes with the engine. This is one of the things I keep telling people who query the effort involved in modelling a business simulation. Level editing systems in Games allow low-skilled programmers to develop quite sophisticated environments with simple event-based scripting systems. Skills well within the reach of a typical Business Analyst.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good News Visualisation

Hans Roslin presents some great news about the decline in infant mortality. While this is great news full stop, I do love the way he presented the information. He uses impacting dynamic graphs to illustrate the downward trends. It also succinctly illustrates the relationship between infant mortality, family sizes and the education of women in society. These are key factors in future sustainability and quality of life issues for the human race as a whole, and I believe he uses visualisations to communicate this well.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Link: The Wilderness Downtown

From the Yesha VW Blog, a machinma generation software page for an Arcade Fire song.

It is pure emotional manipulation, using images of your home town as a way to engage with the song in a deeper manner. Found it quite wistful to see the large St Killian's Clapboard Church from my hometown of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

However, putting aside my cynical attitude to being manipulated by an Emo band, this approach could be used in an exceedingly powerful manner for visualisation and communication. Imagine a Green Party political campaign with images of YOUR home town damaged by global warming.

Another example of Minority Report style location aware advertising I guess. :-)


Friday, August 27, 2010

CFP: 1st Global Conference Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds

1st Global Conference Experiential Learning in
Virtual Worlds

Sunday 20th March - Tuesday 22nd March 2011
Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Papers
The advent of Information and Communication
Technologies has changed how we work, teach,
learn, and relate to each other. The idea of a
virtual world encompasses online communities,
communities of inquiry, formal teaching and
learning, and horror and fantasy games. The
experiences gained in such virtual worlds, whether
high or low tech, impact who we
are in the analog world (and vice versa): Who am
I? How do we relate to each other? What is my
role? How can we be productive as a team? What is
mortality? How do we resolve conflict? These
questions are addressed, to some degree, through
the experiences we have in virtual worlds. What
are we learning through those experiences? How can
we perform better in both worlds?

The aim of this conference will be to examine
formal and informal learning in virtual worlds in
an attempt to critique both its essential
characteristics and its future possibilities.
Teachers of all levels, university faculty,
virtual world players, researchers, and others
interested in what happens in virtual worlds and
what it means for us as humans are invited to

Being such a broad topic, Experiential Learning in
Virtual Worlds defies a definitive list of
sub-topics but the following list is indicative of
the envisaged topics covered within this Call for

* Virtual and global teams
* Communication modes and etiquette
* Skill development in MMORPGs
* Online communities, formal and informal
* Case studies of experimental projects
* Understanding mortality in the virtual worlds
* Sexuality: appropriate behaviour in virtual
learning worlds
* Play, fun, fantasy and horror in the
virtual world
* Art of building a virtual persona
* Emerging technologies within Higher Education
* International technology challenges
* Blended Learning approaches
* Expectations of performance in virtual spaces
* Metrics and assessment in virtual worlds
* New forms of testing in virtual worlds
* Organizational issues/strategies in Virtual
* Professional development/support structures
* Role switching between traditional and
virtual organizations

Papers will be considered on any related theme.
The Steering Group also welcomes the submission of
pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will be
considered on any related theme.

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday
1st October 2010. All submissions are minimally
double blind peer reviewed where appropriate.
If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a
full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 4th
February 2011. Abstracts should be submitted
simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts
may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with
the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d)
title of abstract, e) body of abstract

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain
from using footnotes and any special formatting,
characters or emphasis (such as bold,
italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and
answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do
not receive a reply from us in a week you
should assume we did not receive your proposal; it
might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to
look for an alternative electronic
route or resend. If an abstract is accepted for
the conference, a 12-20 page full draft paper
should be submitted to both Organising Chairs by
Monday 7th February 2011.

Organising Chairs

Peter Williams
Assistant Professor Organizational Leadership
University of La Verne
La Verne, California, USA

Rob Fisher
Network Founder and Network Leader,
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

The conference is part of the 'At the Interface'
programme of research projects. It aims to bring
together people from different areas and
interests to share ideas and explore various
discussions which are innovative and exciting.

All papers accepted for and presented at this
conference will be eligible for publication in an
ISBN eBook. Selected papers maybe invited
for development for publication in a themed hard
copy volume(s).

For further details about the project please visit:

For further details about the conference please visit:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Video: World Game Layer

Have received the latest TED feed, with a video by Seth Priebatsch (Princeton Dropout of course :-) ) on the use of Games as a motivation and behaviour change approach. Seth, offers some great insights into the motivational nature of gameplay, and how it can be used to possibly engage people in tasks, at the level of even controlling their activities.

Thoughts of Government Mind Control via games aside, this is a powerful idea. People spend hours playing games, days even. Tasks in these virtual spaces offers emotional rewards that strongly engage otherwise apathetic people. Which leads me to think that there is something in this space for motivating people in uptake of new processes via a gaming methodology. New ways of doing things in an organisation are often resisted due to our psychological makeup - this resistance gives us a sense of stability and control. However, this stability prevents good change from occurring. Apropos of nothing, could we use such game play ideas to motivate people in their work, and in other civic areas. This is not a new idea, but this use of gameplay for motivation has great potential.



WHERE: the Glasshouse, Creative Industries Precinct, Musk Av, KG
WHEN: Wednesday September 1st 6.00-7.00pm

Delivering your Game - elsewhere

The game is perhaps fast becoming THE contemporary medium. As new innovators move into making games, a plethora of new outcomes are appearing - art games, docu-games, games for health, serious games, cultural games and interactive visualisations for all sorts of research outcomes. This talk introduces you to some of the other funding opportunities out there and gives you hints on reframing your concepts to suit

Speaker: Fee Plumley, Digital Program Officer, Australia COuncil for the Arts

Fee is a techno-evangelist working across the Major Performing Arts sector through the Arts Organisations Division and all artforms through the Arts Funding Division.

Supported by:
Brisbane IGDA
CIP Precincts
iCi - Inst for Creative Industries & Innovation Griffith Universtiy QCA Qantm College, Brisbane Southbank Institute of Technology


IGDA Brisbane website: IGDA brisbane twitter: Facebook Group for news and events etc:

Don't forget to join us online for the fabulous 48hr:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Info: CRC Smart Services PhD Scholarship

For those wanting to study for a PhD with us at QUT, you should consider applying for the CRC Smart Services PhD Scholarship.

We are updating the CRC Smart Services scholarship web page and project topics for the approaching QUT scholarship round. Some possible BPMVE projects are listed in the following link:

The CRC Smart Services scholarship will be run with the QUT annual scholarship round.

The timeline is:

  • 30 August 2010 - applications open
  • 30 September 2010 - applications close for new international students
  • 15 October 2010 - applications close for all domestic and international students who are currently enrolled in a research higher degree
  • 10 December 2010 - offers sent to successful applicants

Email me on the address at the right hand side of this blog for further information. Please send me a CV with your certified grades on it for me to assess. Only students with high grades should apply.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Link: Medical Students Engaged by Virtual Environments

Via Cranial Tap Inc, recent medical education study showing a strong interest in using Virtual Environments. From the results summary of the paper - "A majority (77%) would use a multiplayer online healthcare simulation on their own time, provided that it helped them to accomplish an important goal."

The evidence is gradually mounting that virtual worlds can encourage high levels of engagement from students, especially due to their experiences with modern online game environments. I think it is not unreasonable to say that such virtual worlds will produce a similar effect within business process training, and in wider community engagement.


Video: Virtual World Web Technologies

Video here from Damon Hernandez' youtube channel, showing a demo site he built using web based virtual world technologies such as HTML5. An Augmented Reality window is included to show a complete set of web-based test applications in various virtual interaction modalities.

A key driver for uptake of software applications is the ease of use. Using HTML5, WebGL, X3D, and X3Dom technologies will assist in widespread deployment of applications for easy access by clients.

Although I do remember people saying this a few years ago about VRML as well. :-)


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Advert: Tech Ed OZ Student Session

From Andrew Parsons at Microsoft Australia.


Come and hear from and interact with students from all across the country - possibly from your very own university - who all want one thing - to have a better, richer, more productive and inspiring experience while they study.

Hear how they want to be inspired to use technology and what they need to feel supported by you in their endeavours to better themselves, and why they want to be more productive (and how they can be) which in turn will help them succeed even more, and even what they want in an email service at their university.

Want to know what your students want to do when they graduate? Feel it's important to know how to interact with the modern day student in your class or on your campus? Hunger to not only teach but lead your students to success in study and career?

Last year's Academic Day confirmed one thing to us - the faculty and IT staff attendees found it incredibly valuable to hear directly from the students on the day, so we're committing ourselves this year to making that happen even more - every session delivered in The Student Dialogues will be presented by a student from around the country that all have a common goal - to help their universities serve their students better so that when they graduate they're ready for the outside world as powerful and effective as they can be.

You might have noticed the title of this event contains the word Dialogues, which is completely intentional. While every student presenter will be delivering to you their key messages, they're also keen to hear from you - they're committed to making this an interactive experience that benefits both the university and the students. So every session will have a dedicated Q&A time slot allocated to it.

So don't miss this special three and a half hour event on the Gold Coast. RSVP is essential so book your place today!

All attendees will also receive complimentary access to the opening keynote address of the biggest technical conference in Australia - TechEd, and an invitation to attend the opening party of TechEd where they can network with the IT industry itself, potentially finding partners to help support their students in their study.

AGENDA OUTLINE - 12:30pm Start

· Introduction

· The Modern Student: What it means to be a student

· The Future Student: What can you do to attract students to your institution

· Inspiration - Imagine Cup - students want to represent your uni or school on the world stage

· Afternoon Tea

· Mobility - Windows Phone 7

· Productivity - Office 2010 and Office Web Apps

· Communication - Live@EDU

· Conclusion

Remember, all sessions include Q&A so you can ask the students directly for more details on the burning info you're after.

4:00-4:30pm Transition to Keynote

4:30pm - Complimentary access to Opening Keynote of TechEd Australia



12:30pm - 4:00pm, Tuesday 24 August 2010

4:30pm onwards for TechEd Opening Keynote


Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

Corner of Gold Coast Highway and TE Peters Drive, Broadbeach QLD 4218

Session information

The Modern Student - What does it mean to be a student in today's world? How does the modern student cope with the pressures of always on communication, families, work and social activities while at the same time trying to excel at study? What things can you do to help them succeed and not feel bombarded and helpless? What things can they do to help you better connect with them and communicate with them more effectively?

The Future Student - All universities are constantly challenged to recruit more and better candidates for their undergraduate courses. Hear from students who are passionate about exciting kids to get into studying technology and how they can help you get more passionate high school students applying to study at your university. Find out what techniques work when trying to get potential candidates keen on IT, and hear how your own current student pool can help you reach out to your surrounding schools.

Inspiration - Students all over the country are proud of the university they study at and we're hearing they want to represent their uni on the national and global stage. Microsoft run Imagine Cup, the world's biggest technology competition for students with over 325,000 students entering the competition worldwide in 2010. How can you help encourage and support the students at your university represent their technical prowess and in turn showcase the talent that is produced out of your university to the industry and media worldwide.

Mobility - A special introductory session on Windows Phone 7 that shows off the features and how it can integrate to other aspects of the learning experience for a student, plus a quick demonstration of how easy it is to build your own applications for the phone that could potentially leverage off your institution's existing infrastructure.

Productivity - All students want to be as productive as possible. Studies show that they have almost double the amount of activities as they have waking hours in a week, which means they need to be as efficient as possible with everything they do. Hear how some students use products like OneNote and the new Office Web Apps to make their lives easier and see how they can be integrated into your own learning environment easily and at low or no cost to help them be even more productive in their study.

Communication - Email is arguably the most important and effective way of communicating with students in a typical university environment but is also one of the hardest to manage. Hear how students who have used Live@EDU have found it to be an incredibly effective solution for their email needs and has the additional benefits of being able to be used as their online ID elsewhere, thus spreading awareness of your institution on a wider net.

To attend, simply send an email to and include the following information for each person you're RSVPing for:

Full Name

Educational Institution

Too easy!

I look forward to seeing you there, but more importantly, the student speakers are looking forward to seeing you there. Don't miss out.