12 August 2007

Week 9 - SIGGRAPH 2007 Day 5

Today I started off by attending the multi-user Birds of a Feather hosted by Chris Thorne from West Australia. The 90 minute BOF had three demonstrations. There wasn't much advertisement for this BOF so the attendence was low; about 11 people showed up. The purpose of the BOF was to demo X3D virtual worlds that multiple users could simultaneously interact in. A few members of the Web3D consortuim were present--BitManagement, Planet9 Studios and Naval Postgraduate School/MOVES Institute. A young man from Sweden gave an impressive demonstration that was particularly fast compared to the other demos. The design did not use the extensible messaging and presence protocol (XMPP) like the others. His demo show how digital content creation in a tool could be driven by the commands from another digital content creation tool while the standard based file describing that world was viewed by all DCC tools in that session. The X3D standard is a file format that Web3D Consortuim is leveraging with networking technologies to enable now. Changes to the X3D specification regarding networking multi-users filled the BOF's time after the demos ended.

Afterwards, I interviewed Planet 9 Studios' CEO Dave Colleen for 75 minutes outside the convention hall. I explained my grant proposal and its motivation. He shared several business stories about his customers' projects, how he gets business and how customers are who want X3D enabled applications in their workflow. I was left with the impression that l should let the deep pockets pay for the big and risky ideas that try to "boil the ocean".

My day at the Convention Center ended with sitting in on the Web3D symposium committee. The committee decided to schedule the next Web3D symposium to start a couple of days before SIGGRAPH 2008 in Los Angeles. They discussed the implications of coordinating their event with a big management body like ACM SIGGRAPH.

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