Monday, August 25, 2008

Serious Gaming With Media Sharing in Forterra's Olive Virtual Worlds

Serious Games Enhancing Enterprise Collaboration


IBM used OLIVE as part of their launch of the iDataPlex server


Forterra Systems just issued the below press release announcing media sharing and SCORM integration to its OLIVE virtual world software platform.

The media sharing features include displaying PowerPoint, video, white boards, and software applications onto 3D screens to distributed audiences in virtual meetings.

The SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) integration allows companies to reuse their web based learning content into 3D training scenarios to provide more engaging learning.

Forterra is the first in the industry to enable SCORM content to be used in a multi-user virtual world software platform.

Press Release

SAN MATEO, Calif. —(BUSINESS WIRE) — Forterra Systems, the market and technology leader in enterprise virtual worlds, announced today that it has released several advanced media sharing and SCORM content integration features in its flagship OLIVE virtual world software platform.

OLIVE 2.1, released in July, includes drag-and-drop display of Microsoft®1 PowerPoint® and streaming video to distributed audiences in 3D meeting environments. Organizations with SCORM-compliant and web-based e-learning content can now integrate this content into multi-user 3D training scenarios.

Forterra is the first virtual world company to provide its customers with the ability to leverage its existing SCORM content directly in 3D scenes to support synchronous and asynchronous forms of learning. The OLIVE 2.2 release, to be available late October, enables displaying of any software application onto 3D screens, collaborative whiteboards, and enterprise-level scheduling capabilities to enable participants to meet in a designated 3D room.

The importance of these features is echoed in a just-issued Forrester Research report, “It’s Time to Take Games Seriously” (August 2008) which asserts that “The green revolution and budget concerns are changing how work is done. Companies around the world are looking to lower their energy and operating costs and see IT as a prime target. To oblige, IT departments are turning to collaboration tools like virtualization and videoconferencing. Virtual worlds have become popular with companies as a means to accomplish these goals.” Enterprises are also using virtual worlds to help reduce long-term expenses in other cost centers like training, learning, and team building.

Forterra has launched these new features to address six initial compelling use cases where virtual worlds will enhance or provide significant business benefit over the solutions enterprises use today. The targeted use cases include:
􀂃 Immersive, simulated training environments that integrate existing SCORM or web content with other media in practice-based scenarios using role players;
􀂃 Ad hoc collaborative meetings for typically 3 to 20 attendees;
􀂃 Large events for upwards of hundreds of simultaneous attendees at virtual off-sites, seminars,conferences, on-boarding sessions for new hires, or formal presentations;
􀂃 Collaborative product design that integrates CAD models of products and buildings into 3D runtime environments so designers, vendors, contractors, and manufacturers can critique the product while it’s going through design cycles;
􀂃 Product launches that enable attendees to view and interact with 3D product models and multimedia presentations;
􀂃 Control centers/situation rooms that allow operations personnel to flexibly scale and arrange information displays from real-time data feeds and business systems to support incidentcommand, business continuity and other mission-critical applications.

“The vast majority of corporate knowledge is developed through collaboration-style learning among colleagues in informal discussions and short meetings. Global companies with a high percentage of remote, home-based or mobile workers are struggling to offer enterprise platforms that address these collaboration needs with on-demand access to the company’s learning assets,” said Dave Rolston, CEO of Forterra Systems. “The collaboration and training features we are releasing help our customers mix and match both formal learning content and informal peer to peer knowledge sharing through a common engaging 3D environment. Our customers are excited their employees will be able to build stronger interpersonal relationships through OLIVE that will yield more effective virtual teams and communities.”

The key new collaboration features include:
􀂃 Streaming video (Windows Media Player® based), Microsoft PowerPoint files, white boards, and any software application running on a Windows desktop can be displayed on 3D screens and viewed by all participants;
􀂃 A hand-held laser pointer for highlighting items on screens or in the 3D environment;
􀂃 Avatar lists of who is already in-world, with a one-click teleport to meet other avatars at their locations;
􀂃 Customizable avatar name tags;
􀂃 Presence settings for users to indicate availability status;
􀂃 A Meetings content pack featuring professionally developed 3D meeting environments including an auditorium, board and conference rooms, training facilities, a hotel, and a mansion for corporate off-sites.

The key new and existing training features include:
􀂃 Learning objects displayed through a browser that can be launched in one of three modes from within an OLIVE 3D scene:
Object Broadcasting — 3D objects within OLIVE can broadcast an interactive action tag to learners who are in close proximity to the object.
Instructor Book — Objects such as a 3D book or computer can be
populated with a list of learning modules so an instructor can broadcast to a group of learners.
Lesson Book — To support self-paced individual education and training, objects can be populated with a list of learning modules the learner goes through at their own pace.
􀂃 3D record-and-replay of any session including voice and audio, avatar movements, behaviors,and gestures. The replay is sharable with any participant and viewable from any perspective. This feature is ideal for post mortems and compliance requirements.
􀂃 Capture of session events to a database to generate performance assessment reports.
About Forterra Systems

Forterra Systems is the leader in providing enterprise grade virtual world technology for the corporate, healthcare, government, education, and entertainment industries. Forterra's software and services enable organizations to train, plan, rehearse, and collaborate using new media technologies integrated into a compelling 3D virtual world. Using the OLIVE™ (On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment) platform and industry standard PC hardware, customers can rapidly generate realistic, collaborative, 3D Internet solutions that scale from single user applications to large scale simulated environments supporting many thousands of concurrent users for public and private use cases.