Dynamic Languages Symposium 2012  OOPSLA/SPLASH 2012

Co-located with SPLASH 2012

In association with ACM SIGPLAN

Tucson, Arizona, USA, October 22, 2012


Invited talk

The Virtual World Framework
David A. Smith (Lockheed Martin Global Training and Logistics, USA)

The Virtual World Framework (VWF) is a fast, light-weight Web-based architecture for creating and distributing secure, scalable, component-based collaborative virtual spaces. It leverages existing Web-based standards, infrastructure, and emerging technologies with the intent of establishing a powerful yet simple to use platform that is built on top of the next generation of Web browsers. These technologies include HTML 5 – a significant upgrade in expressive power for the Web; WebGL – an integrated 3D graphics capability; WebSockets – providing a full TCP/IP connection between the client and server; JavaScript – the programming language of the Web; and XMPP – the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (Jabber).

The VWF will be particularly focused on portable and mobile platforms, as well as scalable, ad-hoc network infrastructure such as cloud computing. It is a zero-install platform, with additional software components added dynamically as required. VWF spaces can be embedded in virtually any application including Web pages and emails. Further, VWF spaces can embed existing applications and browsers.

The VWF will be deployed as an open source platform to ensure world-wide adoption.

David Alan Smith is a computer scientist and entrepreneur who has focused on interactive 3D and using 3D as a basis for new user environments and entertainment for over thirty years. His specialty is system design and advanced user interfaces. He is a pioneer in 3D graphics, robotics, telepresence, artificial intelligence and augmented reality (AR). He creates world-class teams and ships impossible products.

Smith is currently Chief Innovation Officer and Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow at Lockheed Martin Global Training and Logistics, where he is focused on next generation human centric computing and collaboration platforms. Since joining Lockheed Martin he has developed a number of key technologies including extreme wide field of view lenses for AR, and was the designer of the Department of Defense Virtual World Framework a WebGL collaboration system that will act as a common platform for training across all of the services in the Department of Defense. He created the HoloWall, a wall-sized teleconference/collaboration platform. He won the Lockheed Martin GTL Inventor of the Year for the last two years (every year he has been eligible).

Before joining Lockheed Martin, Smith was the chief architect of the Croquet Project, an open source virtual world collaboration platform where he worked with Alan Kay (Turing Award winner, father of the personal computer, inventor of object oriented programming, and creator of the Dynabook), Andreas Raab, and David P. Reed (architect of TCP/IP). Smith was later CTO and co-founder of Teleplace, Inc. providing a collaboration platform developed specifically for enterprises based on Croquet.

In 1987, Smith created The Colony, the very first realtime 3D adventure game/shooter and the precursor to today's first-person shooters. The game was developed for the Apple Macintosh and won the "Best Adventure Game of the Year" award from MacWorld Magazine. In 1989, Smith used the technologies developed for the game to create a virtual set and virtual camera system that was used by James Cameron for the movie The Abyss. Based upon this experience, Smith founded Virtus Corporation in 1990 and developed Virtus Walkthrough, the first real-time 3D design application for personal computers. Virtus Walkthrough won the very first MacWorld/MacUser Breakthrough Product of the Year. Fred Brooks, another Turing award winner and the man that decided there would be 8 bits in a byte was an adviser and member of the board at Virtus.

Smith also co-founded several other companies including Red Storm Entertainment with author Tom Clancy, Timeline Computer Entertainment with author Michael Crichton where he was CEO, and Neomar, a wireless enterprise infrastructure company.

David has been happily married to Teri for 28 years. They have four children. He graduated in 1981 from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics.

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