Apr 29, 2007

2007 Best Use of Innovative Technology!

VR5 Online - Winner of a 2007 Support AW Award

Category: Best Use of Innovative Technology

I would first like to personally thank the panel of judges who voted for us this year. Secondly, I would like to officially thank everyone who has been involved with the VR5 world over the past few years - the entire team has done an amazing job!

If it wasn't already known, VR5 as a world is a research project funded by the company VR5 Online of Lafayette, New Jersey. It was never intended to be a commercial project (though some things we have made have been sold). Instead our focus these past few years has been to push the Active Worlds technology to it's limits.

This is also a double edged sword as well. We are fully grateful for the award and what it means, but as a result, the project leader and CEO of the company, Brad Clark has made the decision not to renew this project for another year. The VR5 research project has attained all of it's objectives as set forth in 2005, with the final being public recognition for works attained. I would like to take a moment and list some of the project milestones:

  1. Integration of a P2P system for management of bandwidth on an Object Path.
  2. Use of photo realistic quality models, including human character (Adam Phase 2).
  3. Integration of Live Television to create a virtual cable channel
  4. Modification of the browser to allow for features currently not included (Metaverse EX)
  5. Dynamic Marketing tests for feasibility and user interaction
  6. Photo textures used for every day objects (the roads in VR5)
  7. Integration of the Virtual NES system with Jamie Sanders
  8. Live Music Concert with online shop, real food, and fireworks|light show
  9. Replication of a real life structure in VR - Papa Johns, Starbucks, BP Fuel, AW Expo Booth
  10. Web 2.0 Integration
  11. Web Desktop Integration
  12. Active Desktop Integration of the Browser
  13. Exploration of ambient sound for environment use
  14. Various Functionality In World
  15. Snow and Rain using the Particle Booster Technique (1 particle per 20x20)
  16. Particle Lighting Techniques
  17. Access local computer via VR
  18. Use of Avatars as Movers (Ghosting) to allow Tourists an Avatar Preview
  19. Integration of Multi-player Online boardgames (Monopoly, Sorry, Scrabble, Battleship)
  20. Use of Natural Text To Speech for Voice Cues

These are just a few things we've accomplished from this project since 2005. The current date for the end of this project is June 24th, 2007 - and as such I have been told that the company will allow it to expire.

Again, this isn't an entirely bad thing, as we are working on other projects as a result of the findings from this one. Some persons in Active Worlds will be overjoyed at our leaving, while many will be sad -

For those who are overjoyed at our decision to leave - keep in mind we are doing so to apply what we've learned in Active Worlds towards other projects we are working on. This isn't a recent decision by any means, and has been a pending decision since last year (you are welcome to check the past news entries at: http://cityofnidus.blogspot.com)

We will still specialize in Active Worlds technology at VR5 Online, but our focus will be on our latest project - Prometheus.

Again, thanks are in order to all of the people throughout AW over the years who have taught us never to accept less than the best.

I would also like to personally thank Daphne, rest in peace. She was my first personal inspiration for pushing the limits with this technology. She used to tell me that impossible isn't an answer, but a dream that should be pursued. And all of these years, I kept that in mind. Today, at least for me, I have upheld at least one promise.

Thank you Daphne for always being there and inspiring me to do better - you will never be forgotten. And I believe if she was still around today, she would be proud...

Both Happy and Sad - William Burns [CTO VR5 Online]