Immersive Technology Strategies July 2013 E-Newsletter


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July 2013 E-Newsletter covering immersive technologies, serious games, gamification, upcoming conferences and elearning

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Immersive Technology Strategies July 2013 E-Newsletter

  1. 1. Welcome to the July 2013 Immersive Technology Strategies Newsletter. In this Newsletter  Moscow E-Learn Expo Review  International Simulation and Games (ISAGA) Conferences  Martyn Ware and Immersive Sound Environments  Smart Society Applications  SMART Funding Grants for Innovation  Gamification Thoughts  Sensors and Visualisation Technologies  Serious Games and Social Connect Conference Singapore  Upcoming Conferences and Seminars  Slideshare Archives Moscow E-Learn Expo Conference Review The E-Learn Expo Panel in Moscow The 10th E-Learn Expo Conference was held in Moscow on June 18th and 19th and I was privileged to be invites to be part of a speaker panel along with ELearning Consultant Tim Neil and Paul Maidment, Director of BBC Motion Gallery Education. Tim and I were speakers at the very first E-Learn Expo in Moscow and it was very interesting to observe how much has changed in the last decade and how much remains the same. The conference began with a series of keynote presentations from key players in Russian Educational Technology Development. Amongst the speakers was my friend Vladimir Tikhomorov who has been a consistent thought leader in the use of technology to shape and enhance education in Russia.I remembered a previous presentation of his when he outlined collaboration with South Korea on the use of technology to personalise education to the individual student – still quite an advanced concept but one I heartily subscribe to. This year, the main thrust of Vladimir’s presentation seemed to be a critique of Russia’s lack of progress in implementing and exploring educational technology and the dangers of lagging behind developments in the rest of the world, especially in online education and virtual universities. The conference and exhibition was also an opportunity to catch up with Tim Neill who, in my opinion, is one of the industry leaders in corporate training through the use of games and simulations. Tim now operates as an independent consultant and his presentation demonstrated the enduring validity of the use of embedded continuous feedback and assessment within games and simulations. His case studies were not only examples of effective learning and development, but also valuable processes for corporate human resource management. Presenting in Moscow My presentation was a review of some of the changes that have taken place in the last decade in the realm of technology enhanced learning. The very first E-Learn Expo had a big focus on Learning Management Systems (LMS) and I was one of the few presenters that spoke about the role of virtual classrooms and the use of synchronous learning technologies. In 2013, LMS has matured a great deal but it still retains its value for corporate management of human resources and learning content / organisational knowledge. Today, I believe that LMS is likely to evolve to become more of a personal tool for lifelong learning and development, like the e- portfolio concept. This is because people no longer stay with the same organisation for many years and both individuals and organisations need some framework for matching skills, competencies, attitudes and personality to job functions. My presentation also discussed the shifting role of the teacher away from knowledge dissemination towards coaching and mentoring and I used the opportunity to dynamically personalise the presentation to the audience and location with some of the free tools on devices such as the iPad. A copy of my presentation “Technology Enhanced Teaching, Learning, Assessment and Development – the Future is all in the Past” is available at development. International Simulation and Gaming (ISAGA) Conferences ISAGA Delegates at Stockholm Social Dinner I was in Stockholm at the end of June during the 44th ISAGA Conference on Simulation and Gaming. Although I was not a delegate at the conference, I was very kindly invited to attend a civic reception in the City Hall and had the opportunity to be introduced to some key figures within ISAGA by my good friend and colleague, Professor David Crookall, who is a leading authority on games based learning and especially debriefing. ISAGA conferences are very well organised and the 45th Annual Conference in Dornbirn, Austria looks like being extra special.
  2. 2. ISAGA 2014 Conference web site One of the distinguishing features of the ISAGA conferences is that they include practical hands-on experience of games. ISAGA 2014 includes the following :-  Presentation of state‐of‐the art developments in the gaming domain, including research, evaluation, facilitation, debriefing and design.  Plenary keynote lectures and keynote actions and panel discussion sessions.  Thematic research sessions and poster presentations focus on gaming related to academic research and analytical science traditions (with best paper and best poster award; peer‐review process).  Active gameplay and open space interactive sessions with a focus on gaming as part of an art, craft and design science tradition.  A game for a real client will be designed throughout the conference and the design process will be documented. Participants can actively design or observe the design process and the prototype game will be played in a plenary action session.  Special conference games will be exclusively developed for the event and played during ISAGA 2014. One game will use traditional haptic game materials. It is highly interactive and will involve all participants for the whole duration of the conference. Another game will use newest mobile phone and app technology. It will be a GPS‐ based adventure conference game. The ISAGA 2014 web site is at Martyn Ware and Immersive Sound Applications Martyn Ware at Venture Theatre, Coalville Martyn Ware is a legend in the music industry with a track record as a musician and producer of millions of record sales and a founder member of bands such as Human League and Heaven 17. The millions of people who have bought his records and love his distinctive use of sound are probably unaware of the pioneering work Martyn does with immersive sound applications through his company, Illustrious. I came across Martyn at a seminar organised by Professor Lizbeth Goodman in London some years ago and was impressed not only by his innovation and enterprise, but also his passion for use of technology to help disadvantaged people. On July 6th I visited the Venture Theatre in Coalville, Leicestershire at a very special evening which combined a highly entertaining presentation and Q&A on immersive sound applications from Martyn with a buffet and great musical entertainment from Northern Kind and Heaven 17. This small venue in the heart of a heritage site for the mining industry on the former Snibston Colliery was described as “Like singing in Grandma’s front room”. As well as giving some anecdotes and forthright opinions on the music industry, Martyn described some of his 3D sound projects designed to create an immersive experience that engages and influences behaviour. Martyn did an excellent job for me at the Serious Games Institute where he installed his soundscape technology in our seminar room. He spoke about projects like the Millennium Bridge, city centre soundscapes across the globe and a very interesting project in Brighton where he used sound to tackle anti-social behaviour on a Saturday night. His technique involved slowing down a well known track with the aim of slowing down heart rates and calming late night revellers. Martyn is living confirmation of a long held belief of mine that the most fruitful sources of technology innovation often come from creative people without a technology background. Smart Society and other European Projects The Smart Society FP7 project is one of a number of EU projects I have been involved with over recent years. Along with projects like MIRROR, SUPERHUB and ImREAL, Smart Society seeks to use technology to ENHANCE human capabilities whether that be through stimulating reflective learning in MIRROR, influencing green mobility and sustainable transport in SUPERHUB, augmenting virtuality with real-life experiences in ImREAL or exploring human-technology decision making in SMART SOCIETY. The SMART SOCIETY web site at provides further details of the project. It models Society as a Complex Adaptive System (CAS) and explores how computing power can be harnessed to support human judgement and decision making. Please let me know if you are interested in becoming involved in the project. SMART Funding Grants InnovateUK Web Site The InnovateUK web site gives details of opportunities to attract investment from the Technology Strategy Board for innovative small businesses – see The Smart scheme offers support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in Research and Development projects in strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. The Smart scheme will support Research and Development projects which offer potentially significant rewards and could stimulate UK economic growth. Funding is available to single companies. Any UK SME working in any sector may apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis for assessment. If you are interested in collaborating on a bid, please contact me at Gamification Thoughts
  3. 3. X-Factor – Gamification Case Study Gamification is a very elusive term to accurately define and I am not keen on it as a word to describe a process which I think has great potential for developing sustainable solutions to many business and societal problems. At the heart of gamification is an ability to leverage some basic human emotions, many of which are expressed most strongly within what most people would recognise as games. One of the ways I find helpful to understand gamification is to “reverse engineer” a successful example such as the “X-Factor”. Entertainment industry agents like Simon Cowell compete to find the best talent around the world. There are literally millions of talented artists who dream of stardom and the challenge for agents is to somehow attract the best talent without spending a fortune advertising or paying talent scouts. The challenge for artists is to get noticed by the best agents and the challenge for both agent and artist is to get maximum publicity and profile which traditionally can be very expensive and risky. Amongst the basic human emotions is the thrill of watching a contest and somehow feeling an ability to influence the outcome. The Roman recognised this centuries ago when they built the Colliseum and used such contests for political purposes. If you take these challenges and “gamify” a solution like X-Factor, you establish a series of win-win stakeholder relationships in which a large number of people contribute small amounts of money and time to generate substantial sums of money for the benefit of a relatively small number of people. The X-Factor solution creates a situation in which the agent, instead of paying to find talent, is paid for the privilege and gains a massive amount of publicity for the artist in the process. The Gamification workshop I run uses a methodology designed to identify stakeholder “win-win” scenarios and use these to shape technological solutions designed to cost-effectively strengthen relationships through approaches which engage those involved. The structure of the two day version of the workshop can be downloaded here Sensors and Visualisation Technologies The Jawbone Up Sensor and iPad visualisation app In the last newsletter I mentioned the Jawbone UP bracelet sensor and my intention to use myself as a human laboratory to assess the impact and effectiveness of the latest developments in sensor and visualisation technologies. My aim was to see if having a device which monitors my activities and lifestyle patterns could positively influence my health and behaviours. I see sensors and visualisation technologies as a critical component to learning and development over the next few years and the source of some very disruptive changes to business and society. I began using the UP sensor exactly 4 weeks ago and I also bought a Withings wireless weigh scale to check my weight. I have targets for the number of “steps” I take each day which equates to my activity level and I record what food I eat. The Jawbone app gives me feedback on many different parameters around my activity, calories burned and consumed and sleep patterns and supplements these with daily hints and tips. So far I have been walking several miles a day and eating better and this has brought my weight down by over 4 Kg. I hope to report further improvements over the coming months and draw conclusions about the role of sensors, live data and visualisation within games and simulations. Serious Games and Social Connect Conference I will be presenting and running a workshop at the SGSC Conference in Singapore on August 26/27 . To register for this international event go to :- Upcoming Conferences Below is a list of forthcoming conferences – also accessible at Date Event Name / Description Location Web URL July 13-21 Euracademy event - Culture and Landscape contributions to Rural Development Loski Potok, Slovenia July 16-19 The 9th International Conference on Intelligent Environments Athens, Greece Aug 20-22 Serious Play Conference Digipen University, USA http://seriousgamesmarket.b 2013-serious-play.html Aug 26-28 SGSC Conference 2012 Singapore http://www.seriousgamescon
  4. 4. Aug 26-30 ISDE 2013 - Digital Earth Symposium Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching, Sarawack http://www.isde2013kuching. com Sept 11- 13 VS-Games Conference Bournemouth, UK http://www.vsgames2013.o rg Sept 10- 12 Altc 2013 – Building New Cultures of Learning Nottingham, UK Sept 12- 13 Segamed – Serious Games for Health and Medicine Nice, France la-une-medecine/colloque-segamed- 2013-serious-games-en-medecine-et- sante-12-13-septembre-2013 Sept 17- 21 ECTEL Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning Paphos, Cyprus Sept 25- 27 4th International Conference on Serious Games Development and Applications Trondheim, Norway Oct 3-4 6th International GUIDE Conference on National Education Systems and the economic crisis Athens, Greece http://www.guideassociation .org/guide_2013/index.php/ en/ Oct 3-4 ECGBL 2013 – European Conference on Games Based Learning Porto, Portugal http://academic- bl13-home.htm Oct 13 World Gamification Championship Final San Francisco, USA Oct 23-25 GALA Serious Games Conference Dassault Systemes,11 Paris, France Oct 23-25 ESM 2013 - 27th Annual European Simulation and Modelling Conference Lancaster University, UK Oct 29-31 WISE 2013 – World Summit on Innovation in Education Doha, Qatar summit-2013 Nov 4-5 Games for Health Europe Utrecht, Netherlands http://www.gamesforhealthe Nov 5 OpenChina ICT Final Conference Vilnius, Lithuania events/final-conference/ Nov 6-8 ICT 2013 – EU Horizon 2020 Conference Vilnius, Lithuania agenda/en/ict2013-conference- programme Nov 19-20 ICERi 2013 - International Conference on Education, Research and Innovation Seville, Spain Nov 21-22 Serious Games Expo Lyon, France Mar 19- 21 2014 ABSEL 2014 - Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning Orlando, Florida, USA 2/04/03/absels-40th-annual-meeting- march-6-8-2013/ Archived Presentations, Images and Videos I am archiving as many of my previous presentation, videos and event images as possible. You can access these from my web site at :- or visit my Slideshare page at :- If you would like any presentations, videos or documents circulated to my network, I am happy to provide this service free of charge for any material relevant to readers of this newsletter. If you are interested, contact me at Best Regards David Wortley FRSA Founder of Immersive Technology Strategies Email : Enquiry Skype: davidwortley Second Life : Hobson Hoggard Web: New Book: If you no longer wish to receive these newsletters, simply reply with the word UNSUBSCRIBE and I will remove you from the mailing list.