Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge

Austin Tate's picture

Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge - I-Room - Demonstration Script

  1. Arrive outside the I-Room at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/VCE/128/80/22
  2. If you have not visited before, or recently, you may be welcomed by a greeter robot visually based on the NASA Personal Satellite Assistant (used with permission). It will offer you an information link and point out a box that can be touched for introductory information.
  3. Walk inside and take a seat at the central table.
  4. The I-Room building has a layout with 4 work cells surrounding a central collaboration area.  Plenty of wall and floor space allows for a range of screens and active objects. All areas can easily be seen by simple camera movements from the central area. A "back row" of seats allows for observers, and can easily be copied to add more capacity along two more walls. A second floor allows for more space, meeting areas, preparation of posters and screens for use downstairs (like a theatre fly tower) and an observation gallery. The layout offer flexibility for various styles of instruction and collaboration.
  5. The main feature of the I-Room is the active link up with external web services, collaboration systems and intelligent systems aids. This includes:
    • I-X helper - scripts inside a conference phone on the central table acts as an intelligent meeting support agent. It links to an external AI planner, workflow and task support system (I-X) which itself can be linked up a wide range of intelligent systems and people via a wide range of communications methods.
    • chat logger - also using I-X communications, this is a flexible logger that seeks permission to log, logging can be disabled and re-enable on an individual basis, and can produce logs in various formats.
    • a number of displays and objects which can be used via avatar chat and via the I-X helper, opening up room control and communications to external intelligent agents and web services.
    • status displays such as twitter feeds.
  6. The I-Room and larger I-Zones are used to support collaborative teams and allow them to work together in a range of application areas. I-Rooms have been used for applications as varied as emergency response and homeland security exercises and experiments, games and media rich product design and whisky tasting tutorials.  They have been used by the US defense agencies, EADS (Airbus), Slam Games and Glenkeir Distilleries, and evaluated by companies such as Disney, Kodak and Tata.
  7. One use of the I-Room specialises the use of the 4 cells into support for elements of the "OODA" loop (Observe, Orientate, Decide, Act) and can be used to support a number of methodologies such as the "Questions-Options-Criteria" (QOC) brainstorming methodology and the <I-N-C-A> (Issues, Nodes, Constraints and Annotations) planning and task support method. Some objects, screens and demonstration equipment in the cells show such potential.
  8. This particular I-Room is currently set up for experimentation being conducted by the "Whole of Society Crises Response Community" (WoSCR) which involves international experts in giving input to decision makers and planners when crises occur. The I-Room and "I-Tags" worn by participants link actively to a web portal that supports the community and provides access to their collaboration tools and knowledge at http://openvce.net. This provides links to tools for concept mapping, semantic social network links, AI planning and task support aids, meeting support, meeting instrumentation, etc and are made available though objects in this I-Room during exercises and experiments.
  9. More information is available at http://openvce.net/fvwc-2009-iroom including images, demonstration videos and papers on I-Room applications co-authored by the actual user communities, companies and organizations involved. Specific exmaple of the use of the I-Room for training, simulation, tutorials and experiments on collaboration in teams are also described there.
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