Michael Osias, IBM (a.k.a Illuminous Beltran in Second Life) has been working hard to make virtual worlds useful places. And, today, the 3D Data Centers that Michael has pioneered in OpenSim (also demoed here in Second Life) appeared in Earth Times, CNNMoney.com, Trading Markets, Street Insider, Sys-Con, Biz.Yahoo, Marketwire, Foxbusiness.
The picture above of Illuminous Beltran at his Virtual Network Operation Center in SL was taken by Noelani Lightfoot, the proprietor of Quixotic Photography in Second Life (see more of her great work here).
Also noted in this recent flurry of press is the work of Oliver Goh, Implenia, (a.k.a Eolus McMillan in Second Life) and his collaboration with Michael. Oliver has pioneered virtual operation centers and dynamic 3D visualization tools for the Real Estate Industry – see Guardian. And, see here and here for more about the Eolus One Think Tank in Second Life. Eolus One will be announcing their new project and collaboration tool – the 3D Balanced Scorecard and a 3D Virtual Risk Map (vital considering the recent ‘finacial crisis’ in the real estate industry) at MIPIM – the most important conference for the real estate industry.
The headline of many of today’s posts is “IBM 3-D Data Centers Show Virtual Worlds Fit For Business.” CNNMoney.com writes:
Real-Time Management of Global Data Centers Made Possible Through Secure 3-D Intranets Can Reduce Cost, Save Time and Help Reduce Carbon Footprint
3-D Data Centers, Virtual Operation Centers or more generally all manner of 3D information machines, have the potential to transform our wasteful industrial society, and eventually, together with 3D fabbers, will play a vital role in ending the unsustainable consumption of energy and natural resources. This kind of innovation will make virtual worlds fit for business. It will also make virtual worlds fit for society. The transformation of computers into “seeing machines” (Gelertner 1991) has the potential to empower people to understand and work with the machinery of their society.
I have blogged a lot about Michael’s and Oliver’s work in the past year, see: The Archeology and Future of Software Design: Interview with Grady Booch, Interoperability for Virtual Worlds in 2008, Eolus Goes OpenSim, Next Generation of Software Design: 3D Command/Service Centers in Second Life, Eolus Makes Leap to 3D Internet in Second Life. I see these pioneering integrations of “virtual” and “real” worlds as our first glimpse of better ways to manage our planet and our future.
Earth Times writes:
As companies of all sizes become more global in nature and tap into skills across the world, the mounting virtual workforce needs new tools to be effective. The 3-D Data Center allows experts to manage data center resources regardless of where they are or when these resources need attention, giving both employees and corporations enhanced productivity and freedom. A globally-integrated enterprise can deliver enormous economic benefits to both developed and developing nations, and new technology like this one can help companies seamlessly operate in such a distributed model. This type of collaboration provides much faster cycle times for analysis and decision making, by viewing operations in near real time, instead of exchanging messages and two-dimensional drawings via email.
This picture below, of the IBM 3D Data Center, was taken by the talented Noelani Lightfoot.
Also worthy of note is the work of the SL Data Viz project of Melanie Swan, Dave Taylor and others who are creating Data Viz Island in the SciLands where people can contribute, review and copy open-source data viz tools. Melanie notes: “I think data viz is the next obvious step for virtual worlds, streaming in data and making it ‘interact-able’.”
There are many RL/SL integration projects being developed, including, NOAA’s real-time weather simulation, 3d stock charts, LAX air traffic data. But as Melanie Swan points out: “An open source data visualization tool suite for virtual worlds is needed, something to be the Many Eyes or Swivel of Second Life and other platforms.”