Hole in Space
By DaveLevy on Jun 01, 2006
I'm looking to see how we can improve Sun's relevance to education and possibly in the secondary/primary sectors rather than tertiary/university and I want to go beyond multi-media databases.
One of the most dramatic demonstrations meeting this need was called the Hole in Space. Technologically, its a full size video conferencing solution i.e. 6ft x nearly 4ft, and the camera is in the middle of the screen. The size together with placing the devices in a lounge environment means that you can get full body language impressions. The researchers, Joan Dimicco, Brenda Laurel & Scott Nazarian demonstrate the video conferencing terminal recognising users by presenting their Java Cards i.e. a plastic card with a CPU chip. Dimicco has also developed a networking database which can be overlayed onto the screen (think Gnome's transparent terminal windows) and so we have the convergence of wireless (or proximity) technology, the internet and database to enable new applications. The software describes a persons networks based on facts rather than votes (where as linkedin is based on votes). I'd be curious to see if the two approaches can be merged. Another cute aspect is the way colour and shape are used to describe data, something I've mentioned with respect to tag clounds.
In some ways, it was quite reminiscent of the scene from Logan's Run (the movie) when Logan meets Jessica (apart from not being 3D & missing the teleportation function that is). There's no question that the full size screen and 100% scale means that a fuller comprenhension of body language becomes available, and yields a massive improvement in communication.
This might well be a technology that e-educators will utilise in the future.