June 25, 2007 SDF Virtual Worlds: Forterra

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On June 25, 2007 at Pillsbury Winthrop in Palo Alto, SDForum’s Virtual Worlds SIG hosted Forterra Studios’ Laura Kusumoto and Evan Driscoll presented “Behind the Firewall: Creating Private, Secure, Commercial Virtual Worlds”.

Laura Kusumoto earned a MS in computer science at Santa Clara University and has worked in every conceivable facet of high technology and virtual reality. Her resume includes Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, PWC, LEGO and IDO. She is using all this experience at Forterra.

I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff in the virtual space, but this was serious. They see a time when the work world is the virtual world. Forterra builds environments that can approximate mass casualty events from terrorist attacks to car bombs at checkpoints in Baghdad. After watching an emergency room simulation I wondered if they had a virtual simulation for treating people with no health insurance. It could freeze up or crash and no one would know the difference. They can also simulate ordinary events like training retail employees how to deal with difficult customers. Where animated virtual technology doesn’t add to the experience, they add pop-up windows with a patient’s vital signs or picture showing him sweating. Users can even rewind and play back an event to pick up something they missed.

Evan Driscoll showed how applications are built and running using On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment (OLIVE). They use ordinary Windows, C++ and MySQL to create some amazing real-time environments. All of this is now available to developers in an SDK.

I was impressed.

Also at the event were Chris Badger, Steve Ehret, Martin Eng, Glenn Fisher, LeRoy Heinrichs, Bob Ketner, Roy Kim, Sung Ho Lim, Ron Meyer, Jung Moon, Harrison Rose and Rita Turkowski.

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Copyright 2007 DJ Cline All rights reserved.