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. :-)