digital city and virtual worlds



Telecom Bretagne - jan 21th. RL/SL

The new collective usages related with Web2, the standardization of API (more generally data formats) as well as the growing propularity of collaborative mapping services are some of the main recent advances in the digital world. Leveraging on our individual and social experiences, these advances allow the design of new services and interfaces that mix both virtual and real dimensions into a unique "relational continuum". It is noteworthy that our common understanding of physical and digital are challenged by the online world: multi-user, social network, communicating territory, smart objects, and augmented reality. From smartphones to tangible territories: where are we actually?

This lecture will not be a classical lecture, but a debate including many actors who are pushing into their limits the usual conflict between tangible and digital. They are real pionneers who lead active projects, so they are able to provide a passionate feedbacks from these early experiences.

Thhrough Twitter, some of these pioneers (locating physically in France, Europe and US) have agreed to give a talk in Second Life, so our ecological impact of this course will be limited. Four points will be addressed:

- the human and his/her experience featuring Yann Leroux. He is a clinical psychologist and psychanalyst. His main research interest deals with dynamic online relations, especially the similarities of behaviors in groups immersed in digital environment (web, forums, social networks, online games, etc.). Can we still differentiate virtual and physical when the human experiences and even the societyl society building include and mix both dimensions. Please have a look at this post from the blog of Yann Leroux before the course.

- Territories, featuring Loic Hay who works with l'ARTESI Ile-de-France, co-founder of metalab3d of cyberterritories. Based on some examples of the growing importance of mapping in the web2 ecosystem, Loic will highlight an open issue: how to determine the dimenions of digital territories? It is common to use the terms augmented reality or augmented virtuality, but should we instead use extended territory mixing somehow mixed reality and hybrid reality?

- Spimes, featuring David Orban (Wide Tag, Italie/US) and Yann Le Guennec (Ecole de Design de Nantes Atlantique). They will focus on the notion of spimes, introduced by Bruce Sterling. They are not passive objects, rather they incorporate sensor, API, interactions and logs. David Orban will introduce the notion of spimes, and Yan Le Guennec will present the design atelier of spimes from the Design School of Nantes (who is responsible of the Virtual Reality option and author of this post, farily criticial, about augmented reality).

- Tomorrow user experience, featuring Kyle G (ReactionGrid Inc. USA) et Rich White (Pittburg, USA). They will describe two projects. The first one is The Manhattan project, headed by G. Kyle on the reaction grid. This project deals with free software virtual worlds, including unity3D and Microsoft Virtual Earth. What will the user experience look like in this context? The second one is EDUSIM 3D, a free software suite mixing virtual worlds, presence and haptic interfaces, such that teachers and students can share a unique experience abolishing the conflict between what is in and what is out of the digital world. Rich White (Southwest Kansas Education Center) will give us a glimpse of the first experiences that have been conducted so far. He will also show us the prototypes that are currently under development in his team.

Students from Telecom Bretagne and a few other attendees are invited to connect into Second Life in order to meet the speakers (with a potential online translation from Gwendal Simon). Recall the time: 21th Thursday, from 10:00am to 1:00pm (European Time). I will tweet the virtual location of the course. It is free and open to everybody !

Thanks to Gwendal Simon for the invitation and all the pioneers who will participate to this morning. The Rennes Town and Rennes Metropole are also partners in this experience.

Hugues Aubin (Chargé de mission TIC ville de Rennes et Rennes Métropole).

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