eLearning: Interesting Weekly Finds #1

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Our innovation team spends a fair bit of time trawling the web looking for interesting stuff that’s related to learning and technology that might impact learning in general. Typically, we come up with a list that’s shared with across Upside Learning.

Starting this week, we’ll share what we feel were the most interesting finds we came across. We’re going to restrict it to ten or less – keeps it short and easy to read. We hope you find something that interests and influences you.



Flash Player 10.1 Beta Recently Adobe has released the public beta of Flash Player 10.1 on Adobe Labs. This version has come out of the collaborative efforts of companies like Motorola, Nokia, Google, HTC etc. under Open Screen Project. This is the first time the same version Flash Player would be available for Desktop and Mobile devices.This would help the development teams in delivering the applications on desktop and mobile phones at same level of engagement and consistency.

Here is a short video of Kevin Lynch [CTO of Adobe] demonstrating the various Flash Player 10.1 running on various devices.

Automatic captions in YouTube Google has added the support of Automatic captioning in YouTube videos. Google is using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) with YouTube to automatically generate the captions of video. Though this will not be perfect but it will improve over the time.Along with Automatic captioning Google has also added the support for Automatic Timing. In this user will create a simple text file of captions and upload it with the video Google’s ASR would sync the text content with video.
All this will be of significant use for deaf people.

Here is a video demonstrating the automatic captions

Aviary Aviary is a collaborative creative suite for artists of all genres. Available both on and offline, via Adobe’s Flex and Air technologies respectively, Aviary enables artists to create on the fly with an inventory of tools for every medium. From image editing to typography to music to 3D to video, artists can create and collaborate using its free, light, and powerful software.Aviary consists of 16 rich web applications that work together to enable artists to create different forms of content, a social network for artists and a marketplace to sell artist content and services in.
Aviary automatically verifies the authenticity of each user’s work and can identify potential ownership issues while additionally tracking and maintaining the rights, royalties and attributions of all works across collaborations and revisions.
Aviary’s open API will enable developers to access its creative network.
ProFORMA It’s called ProFORMA, or Probabilistic Feature-based On-line Rapid Model Acquisition, but it is way cooler than it sounds. The software, written by a team headed by Qui Pan, a student at the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University in England, turns a regular, cheap webcam into a 3D scanner.ProFORMA lets you rotate any object in front of the camera and it scans it in real time, building a fully 3D texture mapped model as fast as you can turn an object.
With this, there is no need to invest time and budget to build quick small models to be used in various projects. I am sure, the model data then can be manipulated and refined by 3D software like 3DS Max.


Silverlight for IPhone This doesn’t involve a Silverlight player/plugin at all, but what looks to be a much smarter backend solution with IIS Media Services.They are translating the content to support the MPEG2 v8 [decoder] format that the IPhone supports; they are moving it to Apple’s adaptive streaming format. So it’s the same IIS smooth streaming content, the same server, the same point of origin, but now we can get that content to play without any code changes, without any real work, on the IPhone.

So now we will see all Silverlight video made compatible with the IPhone.http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2009/11/26/microsoft-worked-apple-silverlight-iphone-server-side/

Wings 3D Wings3D is a tool which is specifically designed to modify 3D models or environments created in various 3D applications like 3DStudio Max, Lightwave, and even Adobe Illustrator. Runs on Windows PC, Mac, Linux & Unix. It requires OpenGL for Windows, Mac and Unix; however for Linux it requires OpenGL or Mesa. It is primarily a subdivision modeler; which is a polygonal modeling techniques that allow user to create well-defined polygons. User can assign textures (materials), vertex color, UV co-ordinates as well. However there is no support for animation. User can add lights too; to create a scene and perform screenshots among other possibilities.
If you are not familiar with 3D tools then you may find this tool very complex.

It supports following file Import formats Nendo (NDO), 3D Studio (3DS), Wavefront (OBJ) ,FBX (on Windows and Mac OS X), Adobe Illustrator 8 (AI), Lightwave/Modo.

The supported export formats are Nendo (NDO), 3D Studio (3DS), Wavefront (OBJ), Lightwave/Modo, VRML (WRL), Renderware (RWX), FBX (on Windows and Mac OS X), Yafray, Povray, Kerkythea, Collada.

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