Oct 102010
 

It has been a year since I spent a lazy Sunday creating & coding my little Social Media Counts flash app. Since then a bunch of statistical and functional updates, millions of impressions across the web, thousands of embeds on sites around the world and hundreds of comments and requests. A few folk have asked for an iPad version, in fact I originally had the proportions of the iPad in mind when I coded it, so, drum roll, here is the iPad version I have lovingly objective-c coded and placed on the App store (via my company MUVEDesign of course)

So GET IT NOW via the iTunes App store now or go to the Apple App preview page.

This is the first of several ‘home grown’ non-client iPad apps that are awaiting approval/final design for the store. Most fall in the social, transmedia, game, philosophical reference plus media education and music toys – some based on my Randomizers, one on the quotes of the decade and a few interactive versions of my transmedia infographics/diagrams. Several will be free but some of the more ‘code’ intensive ones will be in the 99c range. so you have no excuses 🙂 A few hundred have already been sold in a couple of days too.

1.0 RELEASE VERSION 1.0 – Description and screen shot

Social Media Counts is an amazing and hypnotic real time display of eighty four user, content and business metrics across social media, games, mobile and traditional or heritage media. The data is based on actual reported numbers which are listed in the embedded info panel and this rolling ‘count-up counter’ is a projection forward in time based on these real numbers. With over 40 million impressions already of the embeddable flash version across the web this counter gives real insight into the tsunami of content, proliferation of devices and the money being made from a range of entertainment and services.

Continue reading »

Mar 202008
 

I don’t often do the press release thing but given this is a great metaverse platform company from my neck of the woods (Melbourne and Brisbane – Australia) and this is beyond the vapourware we have seen from other players hoping to topple Linden and Second Life off their perch, I will make an exception. The key thing here is the marrying of a distributed Virtual World network (NICTA) with a very accessible, promising client I have been trying out (Vastpark). Things do look on track for end of 2008 which is not as bullish as predecessors, but still it will be 2009/10 before there is a significant community to rival Second Life who of course have their own distributed server plans. Anyway over to the PR release.

Vastpark

VastPark licences NICTA’s Distributed Network Engine technology

(20 March 2008) NICTA, Australia’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence, has signed a commercial license agreement with VastPark, a leading virtual worlds platform provider.

Researchers at NICTA have developed a decentralised network engine for virtual worlds that can scale to millions of users, thereby enabling creators to develop and deploy online games and virtual worlds more efficiently and cost effectively.

Massively multiplayer online (MMO) applications, such as large multiplayer games and on-line virtual worlds, have attracted an enormous user population on the Internet. In fact, thousands of users can be on-line simultaneously in the same virtual world. This creates a significant challenge for the creators of virtual worlds.

The traditional client-server approach does not scale affordably as server capacity needs to be upgraded to meet the anticipated demand for a service; rich media content requires the underlying network to be upgraded to handle the expected network traffic; and central servers are a single point of failure and require constant maintenance.

“This is great for VastPark as we want to make it easier for anyone to create and deploy their own virtual worlds and games without the headache of centralised server infrastructure. We also want to provide a unique user experience on our platform: we want users to know they can turn up at a location and no matter how many people are there, they should be able to see their friends rather than find out they’ve been stuck on separate servers as often happens in games today,” said Bruce Joy, CEO of VastPark.

Craig Presti, Lead Developer of VastPark said: “If we want virtual worlds to become a standard way of interacting online then we want to enable a better user experience. What’s great about NICTA’s Distributed Network Engine is how well it integrates with the VastPark platform and that it allows VastPark be the first to solve some of the elusive problems for virtual worlds platforms such as how to make them extremely economic to run and how to handle the “flash mob” problem (where suddenly a massive crowd appears on one world). This really makes the VastPark solution a complete and elegant system.”

NICTA’s agreement with VastPark will provide VastPark with access to the Distributed Network Engine and the team behind it. The agreement also provides the NICTA team with a commercial platform to conduct a large-scale trial, and a commercialisation path with VastPark as an industry collaborator.

“NICTA’s technology will reduce the cost of maintaining expensive game servers by delegating data processing to individual participants,” NICTA P2P project leader Dr Santosh Kulkarni said. “This will also improve resilience to failures by removing the single point of failure and reduce game traffic in the core network, improving system performance.”

“VastPark has a mature platform that has received excellent reviews from the industry pundits,” he added. “When you combine such a platform with cutting edge technology from NICTA, it has the potential to shake the virtual world space.”

“This is the beginning of what we expect to be a long-term relationship with VastPark as a partner in the development and commercialisation of the virtual world technology coming out of NICTA,” Dr Kulkarni said.

VastPark’s CEO, Bruce Joy said: “VastPark is about making virtual worlds useful and convenient to create and deliver and NICTA’s technology helps extend VastPark by allowing thousands of simultaneous users to meet each other without creators needing to pre-invest in expensive infrastructure. This is potentially revolutionary stuff.”

“This engine will complement our existing VastServer network engine that is designed using a traditional client server architecture. NICTA’s engine will mean that we can offer our world creators a level of low-cost scalability that is just not achievable otherwise. I can’t wait to see the impact this has on the market when it is released,” adds Joy.

“I am delighted that NICTA is entering into this agreement with VastPark,” NICTA Victoria Research Laboratory Director Professor Rob Evans said.

The new networking technology is now being integrated into VastPark and there will be an announcement later this year about when the beta testing will commence. Testing is expected to begin towards the end of 2008.

About VastPark
VastPark is a virtual worlds platform supporting an ecosystem of creators, consumers and user generated worlds. Built on five years of research and development and focussed on effective open standards, VastPark features free tools that enable users to create and publish 3D virtual worlds quickly and easily. Communities can create and monetize their own highly interactive worlds and empower their users creativity.

About NICTA
National ICT Australia Limited (NICTA) is a national research institute with a charter to build Australia’s pre-eminent Centre of Excellence for information and communications technology (ICT). NICTA is building capabilities in ICT research, research training and commercialization in the ICT sector for the generation of national benefit.

National ICT Australia is funded by the Australian Government as represented by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Australian Research Council through the ICT Centre of Excellence program.

NICTA was established and is supported by its members: The Australian Capital Territory Government; The Australian National University; NSW Department of State and Regional Development; and The University of New South Wales. NICTA is also supported by its partners: the University of Sydney; University of Melbourne; the Victorian Government; the Queensland Government; Griffith University; Queensland University of Technology; and The University of Queensland.

For further information:
Liz Chung
Marketing manager,
VastPark
press@vastpark.com

Mar 112008
 

Three more quick cross posts from LAMP Watercooler – yes feeling guilty already!

Bring the Love Back

We have seen a lot of videos about the changing media environment but this one nearly a year old, slipped through the net. So just been to a great business, Trans-Tasman lunch and Tony Surtees who was speaking about ‘The Conversation’ played this very cool video which reinforces my previous post. Funny and worrying for traditional advertising models at the same time.

Online ads more effective than TV ads

The block below is from Advanced TV and seems to be another brick in the wall of proof that the ‘two-way-network’ is now starting to reach an ‘advertising’ contender level of maturity as most folk are spending most of their time on the web. It has synergy with other reports from Pew and Nielsen (which we will comment more on soon) of the growing ‘creativity’ and/or sharing exhibited by Generation C’s and Millenials again drawing people away from passive media consumption.

But back on topic, last year in the UK Google showed it already had more ad revenues than one of the leading Commercial broadcasters Channel 4 while also stating that the UK population were spending more time on the web. Also with the trojan horse of DVRs (Personal Digital TV Recorders) renowned for ad skipping, methinks advertising funded broadcasters seriously need to do some R&D into new advertising models – especially as this is a portent for contextual, personalized and targeted advertising. (Oh and for those who haven’t seen it yet I embed EPIC below for the upteenth time).

NBC has released research that suggests advertising in its programmes streamed online are better liked and more recalled than advertising on TV. According to a survey conducted on 5000 users of NBCâÄôs online service âÄòNBC RewindâÄô, viewers said ads streamed online with full-length episodes were less disruptive than on television and that they had a strong desire to interact with advertising. Ads with Interactive elements were more likely to elicit higher brand recall as well as high agreement that the ads were entertaining and relevant. “NBC.comâÄôs loyal users actively navigate and curate their own experience in NBC Rewind, so there is a high level of engagement,” said Peter Naylor, senior VP, digital media sales, NBC Universal. “These research results show that when the right message is tailored to the right medium, this engaged audience really responds and our advertisers win.”

The Richest Mobile Platform Ever?

iPhone Parallels

I have been using my iPhones to do some strange things over the past months. Most of the coolest apps come from the very active community of developers already delivering some great apps via the installer application that runs on unlocked iPhones. I have remarkably run PlayStation 1, Nintendo Entertainment System, SCUMM and Gameboy emulators. I never thought I would be playing with Tomb Raider on a hand held device so soon. So it makes absolute sense that Apple finally makes this official and opens the iPhones doors to developers via its SDK programme this week. Wired has a brief article with some rumours of the likely extension-type applications that will turn the iPhone into ‘the’ most eclectic mobile device on the planet.

Four months of rumors, speculation and giddy anticipation will come to an end Thursday, as Apple prepares to reveal how it will transform one of the most-hyped devices in tech into a full-fledged platform…the SDK will be in programmers’ hands soon, and analysts and developers expect a wide variety of applications to blossom in the coming months — everything from photo-editing apps to motion-sensing games that take advantage of the device’s orientation sensor…While enterprise software may not be as sexy as movie and game apps, its inclusion could be huge for Apple’s ability to meet its goal of 10 million iPhone sales by the end of the year. By adding features like push e-mail and cultivating relationships with corporate-software vendors, Bajarin says, the iPhone could become one of the major communication platforms in business, making it much more competitive with the corporate-friendly BlackBerry.

BTW the image above is from this developer blog – kottke.org thinks the iPhone could run IE on top of Windows via Parallels on iPhones OS X system sitting on Linux core, now my head hurts.