Fashion Research Institute Announces Science Sim Land Grant Program Awardees

New York, NY November 1, 2011 – Fashion Research Institute Announces Science Sim Land Grant Program Awardees

Fashion Research Institute has been collaborating with Intel Labs since 2009, helping to push the limits of content development, and overseeing the Science Sim Land Grant Program. The program consists of awards of campuses of four ‘supersized’ 3D volumes called regions, which can support 100,000 primitive units. These campuses are awarded for a six-month period to educators, scientists, and researchers who wish to explore using OpenSim for their work, and who need the power and control of their projects that a campus provides them.  The campuses are provided for nine months beginning September 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2012.

We are pleased to share the 2011-2012 awardees, in alphabetical order.

The Abyss Observatory (http://chikyu-to-umi.com/abyss/) The Abyss Observatory is a museum of earth science, undersea technology and also Sense of Wonder for the mysteries of Earth & Life in 3D virtual world, established mainly by Japan and US volunteers, supported by SciLands, NOAA, JAMSTEC, Open University UK and Science Circle.

“Earth system science research fields are spread world-wide and far from human habitation.  To gain a better understanding of global issues, visualization in immersive virtual world is powerful tool.  Our students can develop observation methods of virtual environment phenomena or law of physics easily, cost-effectively and safely,”says Hajime Nishimura (JAMSTEC, http://www.jamstec.go.jp/).

The Cyprus University of Technology Chrysanthos Voutounos is a doctoral student at the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts in Cyprus. His research work negotiates the design of serious virtual and multimedia applications that deal with the presentation and preservation of Byzantine heritage. The Byzantine heritage of Cyprus is globally known and many monuments on the island are included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, like the monastery and the museum of St. John Lampadistis which Chrysanthos aims to design in ScienceSim as part of his research.

My main research objective is to design and evaluate a virtual museum of Byzantine art applying methods that will enable a cross-cultural and cross-aesthetic mediation of Byzantine Aesthetics; providing a meaningful mediation of Byzantine artifacts and a spiritual experience to users.” Said Chrysanthos Voutounos.  “The opportunity given to implement this work on ScienceSim ensures the serious concept of a virtual heritage project; ScienceSim platform hosts a unique of its kind research on virtual worlds (1000 avatars on a region, security of digital content and other achievements). Many thanks to Intel Labs and the Fashion Research Institute for their support!

The EdLab Group Foundation (http://edlabgroup.org ) Hypatia World is supporting and expanding the reach of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) in a 3D virtual environment. Hypatia World provides a safe space for the 5.3 million girls in the NGCP network to access online activities and participate in collaborative projects. The NGCP is committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). NGCP currently supports 21 Collaboratives, serving 31 states to provide support and local resources to STEM practitioners. Hypatia World will host the first 3D virtual Collaborative, providing an online place for the girls and their mentors to interact and participate in STEM activities and events. Through collaborative relationships with partners such as NASA, quality content will assured.

Project Manager, Lindy Orwin, explained, “Hypatia World will provide opportunities for girls to access online mentors and 3D content expanding the opportunities for networking and support for girls interested in STEM and keeping them interested in STEM.”

The Honor Engine (http://www.honorengine.com/) The Honor Engine has created a customizable set of tools built for quest based learning and game development into the virtual world.  The Honor Engine Toolset allows educators, content developers and game designers complete control over their content . The goals of The Honor Engine are to explore the potential uses of quest based learning in education for children and for the workforce. Already well established in SL as the HONOR Roleplay System, the Honor Engine is now expanding their toolset into OpenSim virtual worlds.

Our key focus in moving The Honor Engine into the ScienceSim is to provide a toolset for educators and other creators to scale their interactive content with simple interfaces, quick content creation and adaptation and easy to access metrics to help them define success.”   Bill Jobes, owner and creator of The Honor Engine.  “Quest-based learning that is teacher planned and driven is what the Honor Engine provides. Teachers will be completely free to set up learning scenarios to suit their students  needs. The students play to learn and learn as they play. Classrooms full of students can work together in the virtual world increasing their content knowledge, their literacy skills, and their 21st century skills, all of which will be vital to their success throughout the rest of their lives.

The Oregon L5 Society( http://www.oregonl5.org/) Oregon L5 Society ( ORL5) is using some of their 25 years of research into using planetary caves as centers of human activity on the other worlds of the Solar System as models in virtual worlds. These concepts can be explored in ScienceSim, where ORL5 is creating VW lunar lavatube cave bases and settlements, and similar asteroidal and Mars bases.

These are conceptual models of how such human activity can settle the Solar System in real life.

We use these virtual world projects to contact other researchers, educate the public about how human spaceflight can become more widely affordable, and model specific projects we can then promote to the Space Research community more effectively.” says Tom Billings (Oregon L5 Society Representative).

Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA) Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA) (http://mica-vw.org/) is the first professional scientific organization based in virtual worlds.  The goals of MICA are to explore the potential uses of immersive VR as a scientific and scholarly platform.  Already well established in SL, MICA is now expanding their activities into OpenSim worlds.

Our key research goal is to develop novel techniques and applications for immersive, collaborative data visualization,” says the MICA Director George Djorgovski, a professor at Caltech.  “Scalability is important for massive data sets, and that is one of the main reasons we are in ScienceSim.”  He adds, “Effective visualization of complex, multi- dimensional data is emerging as one of the key challenges for the data- driven science in the 21st century.  As we continue to move our work and collaborations into cyberspace, immersive VR may become a fundamental platform for scientific research.

Preferred Family Healthcare (http://www.pfh.org) Preferred Family Healthcare has been delivering counseling services in virtual worldspace for the past three years and it is on the forward edge of organizations using OpenSim and Jibe/Unity for these purposes. PFH will continue to explore the potential for delivering mental health and substance use disorder services to clients who experience accessibility challenges due to distance, time, travel, physical handicap, social phobias and other complications.

PFH intends to continue to be a leading innovator of technology utilization to make accessible behavioral health interventions available to all who need them,” notes Dick Dillon, Senior VP at Preferred Family Healthcare. “Challenges which have existed for decades are being resolved by the smart application of global connectivity tools. We believe in the potential of virtual world-based service delivery systems, and several pilot projects are already showing excellent results for client retention and participation, with treatment outcomes as good or better than traditional methods.”

Science Circle. The Science Circle is an alliance of Scientists from various disciplines dedicated to connect scientist and students worldwide. We use digital mediums like Second Life® to hold seminars and we are starting in 2011 with various courses for our student group.

“The Science Circle wants to offer our members the possibility to discover OpenSim. Like MICA we are convinced that 3d platforms based on OpenSim are a great tool to offer education. The Science Sim Land Grant program is a great initiative that enables us to do that,” says Agustin Martin on behalf of the Science Circle.

BIO-SE project (Biological Interactive Objects for Science Education)The goal of the BIO-SE Project is to create interactive learning modules targeted to the high school or college freshman biology curriculum. Its primary aim is to have its learning modules be instructive but also designed for first-time users of virtual worlds. Lesson planning and instructor resources will be created as well but do not necessarily require faculty to be conversant with using virtual worlds. The core lessons all come from biologists who have multiple years of experience teaching in Second Life and developing course content there.

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About Fashion Research Institute, Inc.: FRI is at the forefront of developing innovative design & merchandising solutions for the apparel industry.  They research and develop products and systems for the fashion industry that sweepingly address wasteful business and production practices.

Science Sim is part of an evolution toward online 3D experiences that look, act and feel real. Sometimes dubbed the “3D internet,” Intel Labs refers to this technology trend as immersive connected experiences, or ICE. ScienceSim is differentiated from most virtual world environments by its open source architecture. ScienceSim leverages open source building blocks (installation utilities, management tools, client viewers, etc.) based on OpenSimulator (OpenSim) software.

Fashion Research Institute Oversees a Third Round of the Science Sim Land Grant Program with Intel Labs

New York, NY August 8, 2011 – Fashion Research Institute Oversees a Third Round of the Science Sim Land Grant Program with Intel Labs

Fashion Research Institute is pleased to announce the third round of OpenSim region grants in the ScienceSim grid. We will administrate the land program through our research collaboration with Intel Labs.

We’ve been provided with a set of regions running on hardware that can support 45,000-100,000  primitive objects with up to 1,000 concurrent users per region.  The regions will be awarded for a nine-month period beginning September 1, 2011 and running to June 30, 2012 to educators, scientists, and researchers who wish to bring their programs into an immersive collaborative environment.

There are no hidden charges or costs to this program other than what a selected organization is expected to need for the transfer and development of their programs, and which they negotiate with their service providers.  There is no financial assistance available for this process.  We can accept and transfer existing OAR files into ScienceSim.

Commercial organizations and consultants are not eligible to apply for these regions. Recipients must sign a formal legal agreement with Fashion Research Institute for use of these OpenSim regions. This agreement includes clauses stating that the recipient organization will respect the  existing Term of Service, End User licensing Agreement, Region Covenant, and Content Licenses of the ScienceSim grid.

The Fine Print

Each accepted organization will receive a 4-region, 2×2 ‘campus’ from September 1, 2011-June 30, 2012. Organizations must appoint a single user, who will receive estate manager privileges on this campus.

Campus assignees have full land right privileges.  Regions must remain open to common access to enable visitors to freely move around and visit.

Assigned campuses must be built on within three weeks of assignment.  Land which is not improved within four weeks of assignment will be reclaimed, and any objects placed in the region will be returned to the land assignee.

A content library of premium content is provided to all participants on ScienceSim.  Additional content is provided as well.  This content may not be removed from ScienceSim. Suspect pirated content brought into ScienceSim will be removed immediately. All content provided for ScienceSim users is PG-rated.

A complete OpenSim orientation gateway which has been successfully used with more than 65,000 new users is provided for the use of land grant recipients and their program users. A scripting lab is provided for recipients to learn how to develop OS scripts. Additionally, there are meeting, classroom, and sandbox spaces provided throughout the common space of the grid in the physics and math plazas which land grant recipients may freely use.

Expected Code of Behavior:

ScienceSim serves a population of educators, researchers and scientists.  Land grant recipients are expected to register with their real names and to manage their programs appropriately.

All users are expected to behave with decorum and respect to others to support this collaborative, interdisciplinary working environment.  Services are provided in English only.  All users who enter and use this grid are expected to behave and dress in a manner appropriate to a corporate or academic setting.  All users are expected to respect others’ beliefs; no solicitation, proselytization, foul language or harassment of any sort is allowed here.  Clothing is mandatory – this means at minimum, shirt and trousers that meets typical community decency standards.

Land grants are provided with an expectation that users will have sufficient expertise to develop their own regions.  There are weekly user meetings at which user experiences can and should be reported, as well as a mailing list where feedback is encouraged.  Lastly, there is a weekly governance meeting at which any conflicts will be arbitrated.

Participation

To participate in this land grant program, please send e-mail to admin@fashionresearchinstitute.com with your name, your organization, and 2-3 sentence description of the project you’d like to explore in this collaborative environment.  The program has rolling admissions and we will accept applications until we have assigned all campuses.

Past Awardees

Previous awardees are eligible to apply for this program.  Previous recipients have included the Abyss Observatory, the IDIA Lab, ScienceCircle, Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics, and Utah State University.

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About Fashion Research Institute, Inc.: FRI is at the forefront of developing innovative design & merchandising solutions for the apparel industry.  They research and develop products and systems for the fashion industry that sweepingly address wasteful business and production practices.

Science Sim is part of an evolution toward online 3D experiences that look, act and feel real. Sometimes dubbed the “3D internet,” Intel Labs refers to this technology trend as immersive connected experiences, or ICE. ScienceSim is differentiated from most virtual world environments by its open source architecture. ScienceSim leverages open source building blocks (installation utilities, management tools, client viewers, etc.) based on OpenSimulator (OpenSim) software.

White Paper Available: Leveraging the Power of Virtual Worlds for Collaboration

New York, NY March 24, 2011 – Fashion Research Institute Publishes Latest Thought Piece: Leveraging the Power of Virtual Worlds for Collaboration by CEO Shenlei Winkler.

Fashion Research Institute CEO, Shenlei Winkler, announces that FRI’s latest publication, Leveraging the Power of Virtual Worlds for Collaboration, has been published.

Based on a presentation initially made in January 2008 to IBM Research North America, this whitepaper incorporates case studies drawn from FRI’s well-publicized collaborations in business, education and fashion, and focuses on some additional use cases.

Leveraging the Power of Virtual Worlds for Collaboration may be downloaded from the Fashion Research Institute web site.

About Fashion Research Institute, Inc.: The Fashion Research Institute is at the forefront of developing innovative design & merchandising solutions for the apparel industry.  They research and develop products and systems for the fashion industry that sweepingly address wasteful business and production practices. Shenlei Winkler’s work spans both couture and mass-market design and development for the real life apparel industry. A successful designer, her lifetime sales of her real life apparel designs have now reached more than $70 million USD, with more than 25 million-dollar styles in her portfolio. Her couture work has appeared extensively on stage and movie screen.

Fashion Research Institute Oversees Another Round of the Science Sim Land Grant Program with Intel Labs

New York, NY February 18, 2011 – Fashion Research Institute Oversees Another Round of the Science Sim Land Grant Program with Intel Labs

Fashion Research Institute has been collaborating with Intel Labs since 2009, helping to push the limits of content development, and overseeing the Science Sim Land Grant Program. The program consists of ‘supersized’ 3D volumes called regions, which can support 100,000 primitive units. These regions are awarded for a six-month period to educators, scientists, and researchers who wish to explore using OpenSim for their work, but who have not yet managed to have a presence in OpenSim.  These regions are provided for six months, with the current program scheduled to end June 30, 2011.

We are pleased to share the 2011 awardees, in alphabetical order.

The Abyss Observatory (http://chikyu-to-umi.com/abyss/) The Abyss Observatory is a museum of earth science, undersea technology and also Sense of Wonder for the mysteries of Earth & Life in 3D virtual world, established mainly by Japan and US volunteers, supported by SciLands, NOAA, JAMSTEC, Open University UK and Science Circle.

“Earth system science research fields are spread world-wide and far from human habitation.  To gain a better understanding of global issues, visualization in immersive virtual world is powerful tool.  Our students can develop observation methods of virtual environment phenomena or law of physics easily, cost-effectively and safely, ”says Hajime Nishimura (RL, JAMSTEC, http://www.jamstec.go.jp/).

IDIA Lab: Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts at Ball State University The Institute For Digital Intermedia Arts is an interdisciplinary design laboratory exploring the intersections between art, science and technology – developing solutions in virtual reality, interactive interface, hybrid worlds, games, simulation and human computer interface. Academic and industry partners engage in intermedial arts projects, collaborating through this project-based learning and research center – investigating the forefront of discourse in emergent media design. http://idialab.org/

John Filwalk of IDIA Lab says, “We are honored to participate in ScienceSim – contributing our design and research approaches to virtual worlds, mash-ups and hybrid reality within the creative and scientific. We will explore broad concerns within human interface with new technology and media. We are developing rich and integrated immersive environments – employing multi-directional interaction with 3D interface to data, information, and media. We are eager to both learn and collaborate with the ScienceSim development community.”

Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA) MICA (http://mica-vw.org/) is the first professional scientific organization based in virtual worlds.  Its goals are to explore how the immersive VR technologies can be best used for science, scholarship, and education, and to promote the development of these technologies and exchange of ideas in the academic community.

“Many of us who took this technology seriously as a potential scientific collaboration and communication platform are convinced that the 3-D interface is the future of the Web – or whatever comes after the Web.  It will change the ways in which we communicate, collaborate, and educate.  We also think that the immersive, collaborative data visualization and exploration will be a powerful new tool for science, and many practical applications beyond the academia,” said George Djogovski, Cal Tech.

Science Circle. The Science Circle is an alliance of Scientists from various disciplines dedicated to connect scientist and students worldwide. We use digital mediums like Second Life® to hold seminars and we are starting in 2011 with various courses for our student group.

“The Science Circle wants to offer our members the possibility to discover OpenSim. Like MICA we are convinced that 3d platforms based on OpenSim are a great tool to offer education. The Science Sim Land GrantPprogram is a great initiative that enables us to do that,” says Agustin Martin on behalf of the Science Circle.

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About Fashion Research Institute, Inc.: FRI is at the forefront of developing innovative design & merchandising solutions for the apparel industry.  They research and develop products and systems for the fashion industry that sweepingly address wasteful business and production practices.

Science Sim is part of an evolution toward online 3D experiences that look, act and feel real. Sometimes dubbed the “3D internet,” Intel Labs refers to this technology trend as immersive connected experiences, or ICE. ScienceSim is differentiated from most virtual world environments by its open source architecture. ScienceSim leverages open source building blocks (installation utilities, management tools, client viewers, etc.) based on OpenSimulator (OpenSim) software.

Keynotes Announced for 2011 Virtua Design Conference EARLY BIRD Tickets Go On Sale

On January 25th, 26th, and 27th, the virtual doors swing open for the 2011 Virtua Design Conference hosted in collaboration with the Professional Virtua Design Society and Intel Labs. This conference will be held on Science Sim.

Virtua Design Conference Keynotes

Keynoting this event are some seriously smart people whose vision and focus with digital convergence and virtual world development is helping to define various aspects of the 3D internet and virtual worlds. Leading the way is IBM Fellow  Grady Booch, who is recognized internationally for his innovative work in software architecture, software engineering, and collaborative development environments. He has devoted his life’s work to improving the art and the science of software development.

Suzy Deffeys is a Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM) in the office of the IBM CIO, and has over 20 years of 3D graphics software expertise at IBM. She currently leads projects focused on Augmented Reality, including creating a vision based augmented reality application running on Android mobile devices.  In the past she has led projects on Virtual Worlds Interoperability and OpenGL 3D development and is currently IBM’s representative in the COLLADA working group.

Dr. Mic Bowman is a principal engineer in Intel Labs and leads the Virtual World Infrastructure research project. Mic and his team develop technologies to enable new ways of interacting through virtual environments and online games.

Founder of the Fashion Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on helping designers achieve their dreams with dignity, integrity and respect, Shenlei Winkler is currently the CEO of the Fashion Research Institute that is focused on researching and developing virtualization technologies with particular emphasis for the apparel industry.

Break Out Sessions

Over two full days of sessions, we’ve pulled in even more experts in their respective fields to discuss topics such as licenses, rights and permissions, DMCA, hypergrid content and content solutions. You’ll hear from the leaders in this emerging industry.  The current agenda can be viewed here.

Members of the Professional Virtua Designer Society Attend FREE

As a member of the PVDS, this annual conference is included in your membership at no additional cost. We do still need you to register.

If you’re not a member, you can head on over to the PVDS site and JOIN TODAY! or purchase a ticket for this guaranteed to be awesome event.

Non-Member Tickets On Sale

EARLY BIRD Non-Member 2011 Virtua Design Conference Pass SAVE $$

TAKE ADVANTAGE of the Early-Bird Rate to gain Full access to the 3-day conference, virtual exhibits and opening and closing parties.. all for only $35.00. There are a limited number of tickets available at this rate and the rate only lasts until November 30th.
Non-Member 2011 Virtua Design Conference Pass $50.00
Full access to the 2-day conference, virtual exhibits and opening and closing parties.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

We are offering three sponsorship levels at the Virtua Designer Conference. If you’d like your products and/or services to be featured at this event, head over to the Sponsorship area of the PVDS web site. Your product or service will be visible to your target audience. Sponsors will be featured throughout all of our marketing collateral and inworld.

Intel’s Future Lab Interview – Collaboration in ScienceSim

Given that we will be presenting about the Land Grant program in ScienceSim today, this recent interview we gave to Intel’s Future Lab series is particularly timely. Future Labs is the on-line Radio show of Intel Labs.

Serious Games

Our focus in ScienceSim is collaboration between science, technology and even some ‘strange’ communities such as apparel.  Shenlei Winkler, CEO, The Fashion Research Institute is interviewed along with Dr. Mic Bowman, Principal Engineer at Intel Labs discusses ScienceSim, and Dr. Vincent Tidwell, Research Scientist, Sandia National Laboratories discuss the Intel-Sandia collaboration for the Water Wars serious game. We do have to correct one slight misapprehension – our OpenSim-based Black Dress Design Studio is not available on ScienceSim, only on our private grid, the Fashionable Grid.

Listen to the Future Labs interview HERE

ScienceSim is a great place to collaborate in part because it is not a commercial grid and our primary focus is on the actual work being done by collaborators.  Fashion Research Institute has provided high quality, premium content to the collaborators along with our extensively tested orientation program.

Land Grant Presentation

Please join us today at our presentation about the ScienceSim Land Grant program today, November 9th, at 1-1:30 pm ET (we’re prompt, and start on time and finish on time).

ScienceSim Land Grant Program Presentation November 4, 2 pm ET

Please join us Thursday November 4, from 2-2:30 pm ET (11-11:30 am PT)  for a 1/2 hour presentation about the land grant program in ScienceSim providing free  100,000 object regions for six months in ScienceSim.  Details about participation in this program will be presented and information about applying for a region will be provided.

Thursday, November 4th, 2-2:30 PM ET/11-11:30 AM PT in the 21C region in Second Life.  Please note we are punctual and start promptly at the hour.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/21C%20Interactive/32/33/22

If you cannot make these events, please send a request through your organizational email to admin at fashionresearchinstitute dot com.  Please note we cannot respond to requests from noninstitutional addresses (e.g., yahoo, aol, hotmail, etc).