Friday, December 21, 2007

Touchy-Feely Croquet

UNC's Jeff VanDrimmelen has recently begun exploring ways to integrate haptic technology with Croquet virtual worlds. Haptic technology allows simulations to convey information to users in the form of mechanical stimulation. Haptic devices typically transmit information in the form of vibrations or motions, thereby creating a sense of touching or feeling virtual objects. The main types of haptic devices are 1) tactile feedback devices (that generate resistance to user input movement) and force feedback devices (that generate movement back to the input device).

The Novint Falcon device is a new haptic device developed for use as a gaming peripheral and input device. The user interacts with a small knob with three degrees of freedom in movement at the front of what is otherwise a stationary desktop device. The knob is attached to the main body via three multi-hinged and motorized arms. The step motors within the arms feel what the user is doing as well as apply forces back to the knob.

Jeff recently posted this video about his earliest effort to integrate the Novint Falcon haptic device with Croquet technology.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Duke Receives Mellon Award

Today, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Duke University a $100,000 prize for leadership and development work to advance Croquet in the open source. The prize was one of ten presented as part of the second annual Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC) which are given each year to not‐for‐profit organizations for leadership in the collaborative development of open source software tools with application to scholarship in the arts and humanities.

The award was presented at the Fall Task Force meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information in Washington D.C. by Sir Timothy Berners‐Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium and the inventor of the World Wide Web. Duke’s MATC award was one of three that received the top prize of $100,000. The other award winners received prizes of $50,000 each. Award recipients were selected by the MATC Award Committee, which included Berners‐Lee, Mitchell Baker (CEO, Mozilla Corporation), John Seely Brown (former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corp.), Vinton G. Cerf (Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google, Inc.), John Gage (Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office, Sun Microsystems, Inc.), and Tim O’Reilly (Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media).