Category Archives: Inworldz

Keeping in shape in InWorldz

There has been a lot in the blogsphere over the last twelve months about virtual world and matters of health.

For example, there’s Fran Serenade (Fran Swenson in SL) and the benefits she’s personally experienced in using Second Life as a sufferer of Parkinson’s disease which has led to Donna Davis of the University of Oregon and Tom Boellstorff, an anthropology professor at UC Irvine researching the matter in-world.  Virtual Ability has a long history of helping people with disabilities make full use of SL for the betterment of their real lives, and the Centre for ME/CFS and Other Invisible Illnesses is based in Second Life. There have also been numerous projects involving medical workers, such as the research performed by a team at the Imperial College London to improve patient management skills among surgical residents at hospitals.

Now over on InWorldz, the team there have taken things a step further – literally and figuratively – with an app which allows you to exercise at home while still exploring InWorldz.

InWorldz InShape is currently available for Android devices, although iOS / Windows versions are promised for the future. It essentially gathers data on your real-world exercising when using a treadmill, stationary exercise bike or elliptical bike / trainer, and translates it to in-world movement. Thus, people using it can explore in-world regions with their avatar which exercising, and even compete against one another.

InWorldz InShape: spend time in-world while exercising at home

InWorldz InShape: spend time in-world while exercising at home

The app and idea are still very much beta, but already InWorldz residents have built a park where those with the app can go for walks / runs / rides, and there are plans to start weekly exercise sessions, allowing users to meet in-world and go through a routine together on a “group treadmill” while also exercising at home. The InWorldz team also hope that residents will build race tracks, walks and so on to make use of the app and offer further opportunities for combining fitness training with in-world activities with friends, making it easy to keep fit together.

InWorldz InShape in action: a walk in the park in-world (left) while exercising at home (r)

InWorldz InShape in action: a walk in the park in-world (left) while exercising at home (r)

An InWorldz beta programme for the app has been launched, and the InWorldz team are looking for people to join them in trying it out. Those wishing to sign-up will need to have an InWorldz account and meet the following requirements:

  • Be in good enough physical health to start or participate in a light exercise programme (consulte your doctor if you have any concerns)
  • have enough time to participate in testing once a week, during the weekend, for about 45 minutes
  • own or have access to an android powered phone (Android 2.3.3 or later)
  • own or have access to: An exercise bike, elliptical, or treadmill and a computer or tablet that can run a viewer (/Lumiya) connected to the InWorldz Grid.

Those meeting these criteria can register their interest at the InWorldz website.

A demo video has been produced, hosted by InWorldz’s own Tranquility Dexler, which provides an in-depth look at the app in use.

This looks like a very practical and fun application for a virtual world environment, and could potentially see a lot of new opportunities for competitive undertakings in-world or bring a whole new dimension to something like the RFL track walks for people – again, providing due care is taken with RL fitness condition.

I’m keen to sign-up myself, but I don’t have the requisite exercise equipment. I wonder if they’ll ever be able to include a rowing machine and a lake to paddle across …?

Related Links

All images courtesy of InWorldz.

InWorldz to kick-off second Relay for Life season

InWorldz have issued details of their kick-off rally to mark the start of their 2013 Relay for Life of InWorldz season in aid of the American Cancer Society.

The press release, circulated to virtual world bloggers, reads in part:

InWorldz community members are uniting at a rally to officially launch their Second Relay For Life season of Many Worldz For A Cure. Hundreds of participants again are will ringing in the new season with a rally that educates everyone on how their involvement benefits the American Cancer Society’s goal to save lives and create more birthdays. Money raised will fight cancer by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.

Come join us, as we meet the American Cancer Society organizing committee and a live performance by Russell Eponym. Come rally with us to begin a campaign we will not lose.

The kick-off event will take place on the InWorldz Paradise by Design region (please note that is an InWorldz IWurl) on Saturday August 24th, 2013, commencing at 09:00 InWorldz Time. The current schedule comprises presentations from the organising committee and then the aforementioned live performance:

  • 09:00 – Hairy Thor – Chair
  • 09:10 – Neill McCullough – Teams
  • 09:15 – Bain Finch Co Chair
  • 09:30 – Key Note Presentation
  • 09:45 – Russell Eponym – live performer

Sponsorship

According to the RFL of IW website, sponsorships for the season are currently open, and comprise three levels, starting at $50.00 USD and rising to $150.00, each with unique benefits to sponsors, including website promotion, event mentions, logo promotions, and more. For full details of each level of sponsorship, the levels still available, and how to become a sponsor, please refer to the RFL of IW sponsorship page.

Further Information

About Relay for Life

Relay For Life (RFL) is an inspirational overnight fundraising event that honours cancer survivors and celebrates life. Each Relay is a community-led, non-athletic event where teams fundraise and then join together in the Relay event. There, teams take it in turns to walk round a track for up to 24 hours to signify that ‘cancer never sleeps’.

RFL started in the United States in 1985 when one man circled around a track for 24 hours raising $27,000. Now, over four million people from twenty countries world-wide participate annually in Relay for Life events. RFL of IW is officially sanctioned by the American Cancer Society and a recognised RFL event.

Related Links

InWorldz second Relay for Life season announced

IW RFLThe Second annual Relay for Life of InWorldz (RFL of IW) season has been formally announced.

InWorldz held its first Relay For Life (RFL) season, fully sanctioned by the American Cancer Society, in 2012, raising some $15,000.

The 2013 season will commence in late August 2013 and run through until the start of November, culminating in the Relay itself on Saturday November 2nd.

Key Dates

The season opens on Saturday August 24th, 2013 at 09:00 InWorldz Time at Paradise by Design (IWurl).

The “half way” event will take place on Saturday September 28th, starting at 09:00 InWorldz time.

The Relay itself will be held on Saturday November 2nd, commencing at midday, InWorldz time.

Sponsorship

Sponsorships for the season are currently open, and comprise three levels, starting at $50.00 USD and rising to $150.00, each with unique benefits to sponsors, including website promotion, event mentions, logo promotions, and more. For full details of each level of sponsorship, the levels still available, and how to become a sponsor, please refer to the RFL of IW sponsorship page.

Further Information

About Relay for Life

Relay For Life (RFL) is an inspirational overnight fundraising event that honours cancer survivors and celebrates life. Each Relay is a community-led, non-athletic event where teams fundraise and then join together in the Relay event. There, teams take it in turns to walk round a track for up to 24 hours to signify that ‘cancer never sleeps’.

RFL started in the United States in 1985 when one man circled around a track for 24 hours raising $27,000. Now, over four million people from twenty countries world-wide participate annually in Relay for Life events. RFL of IW is officially sanctioned by the American Cancer Society and a recognised RFL event.

Related Links

Mesh deformer: moving ahead in InWorldz, but will it affect LL?

At the weekend, Tranquility Dexler, the CTO of InWorldz,  Tweeted about the work Qarl Fizz (Karl Stiefvater) has been undertaking in order to implement the deformer for InWorldz, and the fact that Qarl has a patch which should enable TPVs to integrate the”fast deformer” into their code.

Tranquility Dexler's Tweet from July 6th

Tranquility Dexler’s Tweet from July 6th

The link in the Tweet leads to a post on Qarl’s blog which gives further information on the project:

The team over at InWorldz recently asked if i could help them integrate the clothing deformer into their new mesh viewer. which is nice, I think, because people really want to fit their clothing. and so far they can’t.

But the InWorldz guys took it a step further – they asked if there was anything I could do to improve the code. and I said yes, it could be made faster. and they put-up a bit of money to make it happen.

Attached is a patch to the deformer code which (by my quick estimates) makes the deformation process 21 times faster. many thanks to David and McCabe for making this possible.

Qarl: working ti integrate the deformer code into the InWorldz viewer

Qarl: working ti integrate the deformer code into the InWorldz viewer

This has led to some speculation as to what impact the patch might have on the Lab’s work with the deformer.

I would hazard a guess and say, “Initially, not a lot.”

I say this not to denigrate LL or to suggest that LL have no interest in implementing the deformer.

Rather, I say it simply because the Lab will likely proceed at their own pace as and when the resources are available to focus on the work they have – as a result of the many and varied robust discussions held on STORM-1716  – determined as needing to be carried out before they move the deformer to a released status.

This does, however, leave TPVs with a dilemma. Do they push ahead and adopt the code, and risk issues down the road when LL start to update the deformer themselves while opting to ignore Qarl’s latest work? Or do they play safe and wait to see what the Lab opts to do?

There is some speculation that were TPVs to incorporate the code into alpha / experimental versions of their viewers, it might tip the balance towards the Lab renewing work on the deformer (and / or adopting them code) sooner rather than later. However, there is a question mark over this.

While TPVs can produce “experimental” viewers utilising code which “breaks” the “shared experience”, it has always been intimated by the Lab that they can do so only as long as such viewers don’t enter into widespread use. While it isn’t easy to determine how LL would police this in practice (block a given viewer string? Issue a warning notice? Something else?), it might deter some TPVs with larger communities from making the code available except under very controlled conditions. If so, this might serve to dramatically reduce the visibility of a “working” deformer and possibly leave the Lab free to sail its own course.

Another option for TPVs – at least those who support OpenSim – is to integrate the code into their OpenSim versions. If nothing else, adoption of the code into OpenSim versions of various viewers might in turn see a more widespread use of mesh clothing on OpenSim, something entirely in keep with the initial goals of the project.

Posting on STORM-1716, Henri Beauchamp has already indicated he’ll be taking both routes: all three branches of his Cool VL viewer will incorporate the new code but only the experimental branch will use it when connected to SL; his legacy and stable branches of the viewer will only use the code when connected to OpenSim.

In the meantime – and again, absolutely no slight towards Linden Lab – kudos to the folk over at InWorldz for moving to adopt the deformer.

Related Links

My thanks to Tranquility Dexler for the Tweet, which alerted me to the work, and to Shug Maitland, for poking me to blog about it.