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August 1995 News
August 19 Meeting Minutes

Consortium attends SIGGRAPH

Los Angeles hosted SIGGRAPH '95. The one overpowering theme this year was: VRML - Virtual Reality Markup Language, with at least a dozen VRML browsers shown. VRML is poised to become the basic standard construction language for 3D digital spaces. Great discussion about how to make VRML interactive was part of the hubub that filled the noisy hall. There was a large demonstration area devoted to Virtual Communities. Consortium attendees were run off their feet contacting the companies and universites who make up this nascent industry.

A large show like SIGGRAPH swallows up smaller themes like inhabitable digital worlds. We were encouraged by this as our Fall conference, which will focus entirely on this theme, should allow these companies and participants a better venue than SIGGRAPH.

We were also encouraged by the response we received to our organization and planned conference. The groups and companies we spoke with and are working to form close relationships months included:

We also spoke with many people from the academic and research communities, including MIT Media Lab, the NCSA, and the US Air Force Academy.

Christine Kekenes joins Board as Director of Technology Assessment

Christine Kekenes, a creative and supportive force within the Consortium was offered, and accepted, a board position as Director of Technology Assessment. In addition to having the greatest technical background in the membership, Chris also possesses a fine artistic talent, as can be seen by her design of our World Wide Web site.

Chris will oversee evaluation of technologies for inhabitable digital spaces and user interface design. She is currently engaged as one of Worlds, Inc's first beta testers for AlphaWorld.

New members join

New members continue to be added to the roster. The Consortium hosted a visit by Professor Pavel Slavik of the
Czech Technical University in Prague. We assisted him to make contacts in the Silicon Valley which he will use to initiate a VRML research project at his department. His membership will add the energy and vision of his department in this former Eastern Bloc country to the Consortium community.

Xplor International, has agreed to join as our first Affiliate organization. Xplor is a membership organization of information technologists from the Fortune 500. Their focus is the document in business processes. Xplor will bring its expertise and membership to cooperative activities with the Consortium. We expect that a connection with Xplor and its membership will help us develop concepts and prototypes of Digital Workspaces for use in the corporate world.

Consortium one of first in Beta Test of AlphaWorld

Worlds, Incorporated offered the Consortium one of the first versions of AlphaWorld, its next generation space for social computing. AlphaWorld includes a virtual town and allows inhabitants to construct their own streets and buildings. In AlphaWorld, we are seeing some of the vision of Neal Stephenson's Snowcrash emerge in reality. Director of Technology Assessment, Chris Kekenes will be coordinating the Beta test trials and offering valuable feedback to Worlds before AlphaWorld is made available for general release.

Vendors Contacted and show interest in Fall Conference

The Fall Conference has generated a great deal of interest in the vendor and academic communities. We expect to have a good cross section of companies, institutions and individuals at the Fall conference. Commercial exhibitors, speakers from research centers, standards meetings and many other activities are planned for this event. If you are interested in participating in the conference, please contact us at:

Berkeley University Radio Interview

Internet visionary Darek Milewski interviewed Consortium Director Bruce Damer on the subject of interactive digital virtual worlds. This program was carried on the UC Berkeley radio station on August 24. For excerpts from the interview, see our Web site. This interview is the first in a series of press programs the Consortium hopes to carry out to publicize the inhabitable virtual worlds concepts, its benefits and hazards.

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