I envision a “CobaltWorlds” website much like the scratch one – http://scratch.mit.edu (A Youtube for CobaltWorlds of sorts)
The main hurdle is the Cobalt web plug-in – but my understanding is that building a Cobalt firefox plugin is a doable (i.e. not impossible LOL) task
Roughly with regard to how kids would interact with the “CobaltWorlds” site
(which is similar to the Scratch site):
* Author their .c3d world/spaces inside their browsers via Cobalt
* Upload their worlds/spaces (tag, comment, rank/rate worlds/spaces etc.)
* Share their static (or loaded) worlds (via inviting friends into
their worlds they have loaded (once Cobalt is more stable in
multi-user mode) )
Small, simple, flash memory, touch screen – and capable of running Squeak. If one to one classrooms are ever predominante, this is likely their form factor ala Alan Kay and his classroom Dynabook concept from 1972:
My work with interactive surface technology has given me a relatively deep understanding of the potential of the technology. There seems to be this clear evolutionary path for the technology to follow. Currently the technology revolves around 2D interaction, gestures to some degree – but mostly direct maniuplation of flat (non-3D) content. Its evolution appears to lay in (1) 3D virtualized content – where the surface becomes an “interactive window” of sorts to virtualized 3D environments (where senerios like our networked Edusim concept are common practice) and (2) The surface becoming smarter and more haptic (as demonstrated in a FastCompany article today titled – “Tactile Display Brings Texture-Movies to Your Fingertips“) . Way off in the distance is the “Plausible interactive copy” concept – where the shape shifting properties of the surface – “re-creates” plausible 3D interactive content. I am looking forward to providing more insight into the technology as I have them !
As you may or may not know, in addition toCroquet and Cobalt, I have also been a fan and contributor of the Opensim project. Dating back to June 2007 Greenbush has been running and beta testing an experimental Opensim educational “Island” (called the GreenbushGrid) locally with the intent to host a server based “secondlife like” virtual world environment for ALL K-12 students. Back in July 2007 I posted the “OPENSIM – THE FIREFOX AND THE APACHE OF THE 3D WORLD ” blog post and seen its potential as an educational tool very early. Now as the platform matures and evolves It is very clear that Opensim is emerging (due to its community) as the clear favorite for server based open source educational virtual world hosting. Cobalt has emerged (for the same reason) as the clear favorite (and really only scalable option in the short term unless the Opensim Hypergrid project takes off any time soon) peer to peer option for ”one off” educational virtual worlds. I will keep observers posted on our future GreenbushGrid Opensim work as we prepare to launch our CSI Opensim based world! I am in the opinion (as are others) that this will be a very eventful year for educational virtual worlds.