Introduction to Virtual Worlds

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					Introduction to Virtual Worlds

 Maged N Kamel Boulos, PhD, SMIEEE
                              << Real Maged, Great Wall
                                 of China, Beijing, October
                                 2009 (while participating at
                                 an ISPRS conference in China)

Maged’s Alt/Avatar (MB
  Chevalier) visiting the
  Great Wall of China in
Second Life®, November
                Agenda (56m)
•   What Are Virtual Worlds? (10m)
•   Activity in Breakout Rooms (35m)
•   Application Example (5m 30s)
•   Some Emerging Trends (5m)
•   Resources/Further Reading (30s)
      What Are Virtual Worlds?
• Video (9m 44s)
   Breakout Rooms Activity (35m)
• Discuss together in 2 to 4 breakout groups
  your views and proposals concerning possible
  and potential applications of virtual worlds in
  health and healthcare, informed by and
  building on the affordances of these
  environments that you have just been
  introduced to in the previous video.
• Report back to ‘Main’ at least two example
  applications per group.
          Application Example
• Video (5m 19s)
          Some Emerging Trends - 1
• Virtual worlds and virtual globes (mirror worlds)
  such as Google Earth™ will merge, opening up
  many new possibilities and applications.
“You’ll be walking around in downtown London and be
able to see the shops, the stores, see what the traffic is
like. Walk in a shop and navigate the merchandise. Not
in the flat, 2D interface that we have on the Web today,
but in a virtual (but real) walkthrough.” –Microsoft’s Bill
Gates, October 2005
For an example application combining virtual worlds and virtual
globes, see: Kamel Boulos MN. Novel Emergency/Public Health
Situation Rooms and More Using 4-D GIS. Presented at: ISPRS WG
IV/4 International Workshop on Virtual Changing Globe for
Visualisation & Analysis (VCGVA2009), Wuhan University, Wuhan,
Hubei, China, 27-28 October 2009 (Published in ISPRS Archives). URLs: and
       Some Emerging Trends - 2
• Natural User Interfaces and more natural forms
  of human-computer interaction and 3-D
  navigation will replace the conventional mouse
  and keyboard, e.g., multi-touch interfaces; using
  face/voice recognition and motion sensors to allow
  users to interact in 3-D virtual spaces; ubiquitous/
  multi-device support; augmented reality; etc.

              << It is now possible to stream a 3-D
              virtual world to a suitable mobile phone

              Multi-touch/multi-user/hand interface >>
                 Some Emerging Trends - 3
• Perfect realism and immersiveness.
• 3-D worlds standards for the Web (e.g., MPEG-V) and
  seamless integration with flat Web content and
Image credit: Medusa Stereoscopic 3D Demo by NVIDIA®
          Some Emerging Trends - 4
• True 3-D/True stereoscopic vision using readily
  available technologies such as NVIDIA 3D Vision for
  more realistic 3-D visualization, with a better sense
  of 3-D depth and relief.
• Glasses-free solutions, including
  options for mobile device
  displays such as the iPhone,
  are already available today
  Kamel Boulos MN, Robinson LR.
  Web GIS in practice VII:
  stereoscopic 3-D solutions
  for online maps and virtual globes.
  Int J Health Geogr. 2009; 8:59. URL:
     Resources/Further Reading - 1
Resources/Further Reading - 2


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