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LoD Viewpoints June 2007

Revolutionary Consumer-Level Haptic Interface Device

Accurate provision of touch and force sensations (haptics) can give users a more realistic representation of virtual environments than they now experience and enable more complex applications, such as specialized surgical training or accurate representation of activities in 3-D environments, in ways that would otherwise be impossible.
Because of their inherent complexity and high cost,   development of haptic interfaces has generally lagged behind work on visual and sound interfaces, but may now become more common given the reduction in price and high   volume of controllers for computer games and could--with the proper software--make operating in virtual environments faster and more intuitive.

LoD Viewpoints May 2007

The Potential and Risk of Three-Dimensional Virtual Collaboration and Learning Environments
Author: Marcelo Hoffman

Developments in multiplayer virtual environments may enhance collaboration, exploration, and learning for corporate professionals and others by enabling them to test ideas and solutions in complex, open-ended virtual settings in ways that would be difficult or impossible in real life. Corporations are testing the value of multiplayer virtual environments to connect and communicate better with customers and potential customers, even though the value of these environments is not yet well defined for business, and these environments need to evolve further and become demonstrably reliable and practical.


LoD Viewpoints April 2007

Language Learning in Second Life Shows Potential

Developments in multiplayer virtual environments, particularly the provision of high-quality voice communications, may enhance learning and collaboration for language students by enabling them to learn and practice in complex, open-ended, virtual settings in ways that would be difficult to replicate in real life. Language learning is a general-purpose application for virtual worlds that could become commonplace once interface issues find resolution. When interfaces improve, other applications that require virtual-face-to-face with voice communications will also follow.

Recent Developments: U.S. National Science Foundation Funds Leading-Edge Research Project: "Towards Life-like Computer Interfaces that Learn"

Combining several leading-edge technologies in addition to developing humanlike avatars that appear lifelike and respond intelligibly to questions could create remarkable results. Software agents that understand speech and can respond, through speech, to topic-specific questions could create a variety of new applications and services in learning, as well as in customer services, sales, and other people-facing roles.

LoD Viewpoints March 2007

Multicore Chips and Parallel Processing for High-End Learning Environments

Computing power is a key enabler for high-end learning environments such as three-dimensional simulations, games,and virtual worlds. The availability of inexpensive, multicore, parallel computers may revolutionize high-end    learning environments if programmers can create and convert software for the new computer systems. This Viewpoints, which examines the field of multicore chips and parallel processing, is relevant to all learning-industry players    interested in new hardware trends.

LoD Viewpoints February 2007

This issue covers:
Wearable Learning for Aircraft Engineers
Some workers, such as field-maintenance engineers, struggle to use today's eLearning systems that require desktop or laptop computers or at best handheld devices requiring two-handed operation. Wearable computing could provide "hands-free," on-demand learning to field workers—creating new opportunities for learning technology vendors and users.

Report from London's Learning Technologies 2007
Learning Technologies is one of Europe's leading eLearning events. This brief report captures key industry insights from our visit, providing implications and analysis for Learning-on-Demand clients.

Learning and the Long Tail
John Seely Brown, a leading thinker in the business and learning fields, recently outlined a new vision for organizing corporate and university curriculums. His vision is for learning that covers core content but also allows individuals to foster their own interests and take advantage of new Web resources and communities. His thesis is relevant to all managers responsible for learning.