Thinking in the overlap

Henrik Bennetsen

We have been pretty excited about our embedded browser Berkelium and it was good to see Patrick pull the trigger on it. Within our group there is an emerging sense that this technology is going to mean something and I wanted to start sharing a few thoughts-in-progress on this.

Imagine two circles where one is the web and the other represents virtual worlds/immersive environments/3D spaces (this includes the game space). These circles overlap but only very little at this point. Basically Berkelium is an attempt to push these two circles closer together. Lets put the 2D vs. 3D discussions behind us and explore the synergy that lives in the overlap.

During the course of the work on the Sirikata platform I have become increasingly interested in what happens in the webspace. HTML5 looks exciting in large number of ways as does dramatically faster javascript. Both these are central to driving the emergence of rich internet applications. These used to mainly be converted from the desktop but now a new wave (pun intended) with a web native feel is emerging. These born are born in the cloud and works in real-time.

Whether you look at the underlying technology or the resulting apps there has never been a better time to explore the overlap. With Berkelium in place we have started to build the foundation that lets us leverage advances in the webspace. The ultimate goal is to figure out the ecology that takes collaborative 3D to web-scale.

We think that lots of smart thinking is needed to move this forward. For the same reason we choose to make the open source & cross platform Berkelium available as a standalone library so that other platforms may integrate and contribute to it as well. Think smaller piece of a larger pie.

To be continued (but feel free to join in now)

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2 Responses to “Thinking in the overlap”

  • Neil Canham Says:

    I feel that we are at an important junction right now, that Berkelium might be a part of. There are those that believe that 2D content has no place in 3D, that putting a browser on the wall in a 3D virtual office or giving a power point presentation in your immersive ampitheatre is pointless and misguided. I know that the Assemb'Live crew feel like that, and ProtoSphere seem to believe that too. For those guys flat content should be deliverered flat and immersion is ignored. I don't feel like that. I think that maintaining the illusion of a 3D space is essential if 'togethering' is to happen. And togethering is what it is all about. Feeling as if we are together with our collaborators. Embedding content is an essential part of that process, so any move to help that has to be good.

  • Daniel Says:

    Hi Neil-
    Sorry for the delayed response, but you can see Berkelium in action through our nightly builds and downloading an empty scene file with just a camera
    I've done so here
    http://graphics.stanford.edu/~danielrh/SirikataBe
    download, unzip and use the + on the browser bar to make a new window… It doesn't show the window in 3d yet, but it does reside on a texture so we could just as easily translate it around… making a more flashy prebuilt demo like the one you saw the video of for windows is not on the radar right now, but you can download the source and build it if you wish. Otherwise this should let you know if the feature you need is supported yet
    -Daniel