Gamers to race against sporting pros

_46636944_car_dan_226The BBC reports that Real Time Race is developing a system allowing television viewers to race against real F1 drivers. Racetracks would be mapped before the race using 360 degree cameras similar to those used by the Google Street View team, although this system would allow users to view the race from areas not actually visited by the camera-car itself. This data would then be controllable by the user – the accompanying video shows a user with an Xbox 360 gamepad – with a first-person racecar HUD overlaid onto the screen.

Real Time Race suggest that users would be able to race actual real-life competitors as the competition takes place. From the BBC’s report it appears that this would involve racing against accurate models of real-life competitor cars rather than actual video footage, however. While the aim is presumably to allow users to view the race from a novel perspective, the possible competitive element is intriguing – would the system be framed in gaming terms or simply as an enhanced viewing experience?

Real Time Race hope that their system will be available to the public in 2010 and expect it to be eventually integrated into other sports such as skiing, cycling and sailing.

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Handheld species identification with WildKey

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WildKnowlege produce a range of software tools allowing learners to create and share images, forms and databases on mobile devices such as PC, iPhone and Nintendo DS. The suite of tools include WildKey, an ambitious branching database tool that provides pupils with simple prompts allowing them to categorise flora and fauna ‘in the field’. The suite also contains WildForm and WildImage as well as WildMap, which allows pupils to create their own trails – and all of the user-created content can be shared with other learners.

WildKnowledge began as a collaborative project between Oxford Brookes University and software company Adit Limited. It appears that WildKnowledge have considered some of the extended applications of their software – their brochure makes brief mention of the possibility of user-created treasure hunts and GPS-enabled role-playing games. Perhaps some teachers may soon introduce educational geocaching hunts into the school day?

Via Flux.

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Digital residents and digital visitors

Over at TALL blog (part of the University of Oxford’s Department of Continuing Education) there’s a great article discussing different categorisations of online users. In recent years, online users have been typified as Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants, to distinguish those who grew up using online systems and latecomers more used to traditional systems. The TALL blog article argues that their students can be more usefully broadly categorised as Digital Visitors and Digital Residents, relating to the extent of the user’s profile and social life that is conducted online:

In effect the Resident has a presence online which they are constantly developing while the Visitor logs on, performs a specific task and then logs off.

The article goes on to suggest how this categorization can inform online learning tools:

This Visitor, Resident distinction is useful when considering which technologies to provide for online learners. For example if your learners are mainly Visitors they are unlikely to take advantage of any feed based system for aggregated information you may put in place. They are also unlikely to blog or comment as part of a course. The Resident will expect to have the opportunity to offer opinions on topics and to socialise around a programme of study. In fact they are likely to find ways of doing this even if they are not ‘officially’ provided.

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Dress code for online avatars

introCompany policy on social networking sites such as Facebook is one thing, but now consultancy firm Gartner predicts that by 2013, 70% of companies will have introduced codes of conduct policies for online avatars. Gartner suggests that this will extend to dress code policies for avatars representing businesses.

Via Virtual Worlds News.

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